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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-07-04

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Service Presse et Communicationb

04/07/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] La Commission adresse une mise en garde aux banques de quatre pays sur les frais de change dans la zone euro
  • [02] Commission welcomes Court of Justice judgment imposing a penalty on a Member State for failure to comply with previous judgment
  • [03] Euro-zone unemployment stable at 9.2% ; EU15 unchanged at 8.5%
  • [04] Euro-zone economic sentiment indicator unchanged at record level in June 2000 ; slight decrease for EU 15

  • [01] La Commission adresse une mise en garde aux banques de quatre pays sur les frais de change dans la zone euro

    La Commission européenne averti les banques et associations bancaires de Belgique, de Finlande, du Portugal et d'Irlande qu'elle disposait d'éléments prouvant qu'il y avait eu violation des règles de concurrence de l'Union européenne concernant les frais de change des monnaies de la zone euro. Ces banques ont jusqu'à début octobre pour répondre, mais elles peuvent être certaines que la Commission punira sévèrement tout accord de fixation des prix qui, si son existence se confirmait, aurait été de nature à compromettre le lancement de la monnaie unique européenne et à léser les consommateurs.

    [02] Commission welcomes Court of Justice judgment imposing a penalty on a Member State for failure to comply with previous judgment

    The European Commission today welcomed the decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to impose a daily penalty fine on Greece for failure to comply with a judgment from 1992, as requested by the Commission. The 1992 judgment found that Greece failed to meet certain requirements of two Directives on waste and toxic and dangerous waste. Today's judgment imposes a penalty payment of euro 20,000 for each day of delay in complying with the 1992 judgment, from today. This is the first time the ECJ has taken such a decision based on article 228 of the Treaty. On this basis, financial penalties may be imposed on a Member State, which fails to comply with a judgment finding that it has failed to meet its obligations under EU law. The Commission considers this decision to be an important signal to Member States that they must fullfill all their obligations under EU law. Otherwise, they run the risk of seing themselves imposed highly penalising sanctions. Commenting on the ruling, Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström stated : "The ECJ decision shows that EU institutions are serious about ensuring full and effective implementation of EU law, through all means available. This is vital to protect the environment and the health of European citizens."

    [03] Euro-zone unemployment stable at 9.2% ; EU15 unchanged at 8.5%

    (! embargo 12 am !) According to Eurostat, Euro-zone seasonally-adjusted unemployment was 9.2% in May 2000, unchanged compared to April. This compares to 10.0% in May 1999. The EU15 unemployment rate was 8.5% in May 2000, the same as in April. In May 1999 it was 9.2%. Lowest rates were registered in Luxembourg (2.2%), in the Netherlands (3.0% in April) and in Austria (3.2%). Spain's 14.3% remained the EU's highest rate.

    [04] Euro-zone economic sentiment indicator unchanged at record level in June 2000 ; slight decrease for EU 15

    (! embargo 12 am !) According to the European Commission's (Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs) business and consumer survey results, the euro-zone economic sentiment indicator remained unchanged in June 2000 ; there was a slight decrease for EU15. The survey results showed a strong three point rise in the industry confidence indicator in the euro zone and one point in the EU as a whole. The main contributors to this positive development were Italy (+ 5 points), Germany (+ 4 points) and France (+ 3 points). Confidence in the construction sector increased also by two points in the euro zone and by one point in the EU. Consumer confidence declined however by two points in the euro zone and by one point in the EU affecting the performance of the general index. Moreover, the spring investment survey results confirmed the recovery in investors' confidence in the European industry. Investment in 1999 grew higher than forecasted in last autumn's survey and plans for industrial investment in the manufacturing industry in 2000 were revised strongly upwards for both the euro-zone and the EU.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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