Slovenia ranked 21st among 128 countries in the Social Progress Index, calculated by the American NGO Social Progress Imperative, in collaboration with Deloitte; last year it occupied the 20th place among 133 countries.

Ljubljana maintains the primacy of Central Eastern Europe, with the best results recorded in the field of basic human needs (access to food, water, sanitation and health care). However, the rate of suicide remains high. The worst result was achieved in the “Opportunity” category, which includes, inter alia, tolerance and inclusion. In measuring the quality of life, the social progress index mainly uses non-financial parameters.


Source: medNews


Turkey’s exports soared over 31 percent annually to reach nearly $11.5 billion in July; the highest growth rate in the last six years, a leading sector association announced on Aug. 1.

A failed coup last July hit the country’s exports in a steep manner.

The Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) said in a statement that the value of total exports for the last 12 months also increased by 7.5 percent to over $150 billion, compared to the same period last year.    

Mehmet Buyukeki, who heads TIM, said the country’s exports totaled nearly 89 billion in the first seven months of the year, up by 10.7 percent compared to the same period last year. 

While Turkey’s automotive exports saw a 41.1 percent year-on-year increase in July, the country’s exports to Germany, its top market, soared 28 percent in the mentioned period. 

Among the top 20 countries for Turkey’s exports in July, Russia showed the highest 95.7 percent increase, Büyükeki noted at a meeting in the Aegean province of Manisa to launch the export figures.

Turkey’s exports to the European Union showed a 29.1 percent year-on-year increase, taking a share of 51.1 percent in Turkey’s total exports. 

The organization added that Turkish exports to the top five countries, namely Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Iraq and the United States, were all on the rise.  


Source: medNews


According to a report by Forbes Middle East magazine, twelve Lebanese female entrepreneurs are listed in the annual ranking of the 100 most powerful Arab entrepreneurs. Lebanon is the third country most represented on the list after the United Arab Emirates (18 women) and Egypt (16). In 2016, 11 Lebanese women were included in this ranking.

According to the report, this year in particular, the position of women around the Arab world seems very important. The most significant sector is the banking sector, which represents 28% of the ranking in 2017. Several women in the region have been promoted the highest positions; these women have been providing services for a long time and have reached impressive results.

This report, which has been published each year since 2012, classifies female entrepreneurs according to their position, the business size in which they operate (turnover, number of employees) and their level of influence.


Source: medNews


Ensuring logistical, technical and operational support to Libyan naval forces, accompanying and supporting them through joint and coordinated activities, and ensuring the maintenance and restoration of equipment efficiency, as explicitly requested on 23rd July by the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, Al Sarraj, in a letter sent to President Paolo Gentiloni. Thus, the minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti described the Italian commitment to Libya. “To carry out these activities, the Libyan authorities have demanded to operate in their territorial waters and in their ports,”  the Minister said, and also spoke with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano, pointing out that “all activities will take place on the basis of the Libyan authorities and, therefore, in the closest co-ordination with them. “No interference or injury to Libyan sovereignty, therefore. Sovereignty that, indeed, is to be strengthened. “Our job is to help the Libyans in rescue activities and in contrasting the traffickers,” she said. A naval blockade is excluded “because it is a hostile act” but we will offer a response to the call for support and assistance to the activities of the Libyan coast guard.

Naval units used for this mission will be taken from the “Mare Sicuro” national system, already operative in international waters. No additional burden, therefore, compared to what Parliament has already approved. The rules of engagement will be the same as the Mare Sicuro operation, with the necessary adaptations for the bilateral character of the operation. “On the basis of international law, self-defense of our military is always legitimate,” Pinotti explained. This includes the important decision of the Libyan authorities to officially declare the so-called “SAR area”, namely the search and rescue area under their responsibility. Italy has long been strongly committed to stabilizing Libya, with staff training and media supply. “The Libyan demand for naval support is born in a climate of absolute mutual trust that is not extemporaneous, Italy has always acted in respect of Libyan sovereignty,” said Minister Alfano. “The international community must unify its efforts under the protection of the UN”, also in light of the proliferation of unilateral initiatives of the last months that has questioned the role of former UN Special Representative Kobler. The new Special Representative Ghassan Salame, will be in Rome on August 8, Alfano announced, and explained to parliamentarians that on that occasion he will ask him “to impose a new impetus on UN action. His agenda is our agenda. “Lastly, for the operations already started in Libya, Pinotti recalled that since June 2016 with the European operation “Sophia” Italy has been conducting training activities for Libyan naval forces. In October 2016 Italy launched the “Ippocrate” operation to install a field hospital in Misurata to assist the wounded in the fight against Isis. 


Source: medNews


“We have put a strategy in place. There is no one miraculous solution, but the idea is to think of a project knowing that no country can do it alone. And that no country can be left alone”. Interior Minister Marco Minniti said these words, intervening in Tunis at the second meeting of the contact group on the Central Mediterranean route. “It is an extraordinarily important epochal migration phenomenon”, the Interior Minister said, “which has accompanied us in the past and will most likely accompany us in the future as well. The problem is to understand that this phenomenon can be dealt with in a useful way only through a great cooperation between Europe and Africa. This is the solution. Europe can not do without Africa and vice versa, the two destinies are closely connected and that is why this initiative is very important.” “We must engage energy, financial resources, projects,” said Minniti, “if we can see and think of a balanced Europe it is the one that has the same commitment towards the east and the south. They are two fundamental hearts of the same identical problem. The key word about this is cooperation, investment and commitment in concrete projects”.

About Libya, “The borders of the south of Libya are very important not only for the issue of immigration, but also for the theme of the fight against terrorism” Minniti pointed out, “we are faced with the signs of a military defeat of the Islamic State when Mosul falls. And we must think of the hypothesis of a diaspora and, at that point, the southern border of Libya becomes the southern boundary of all northern Africa and, if allowed, the southern border of Europe as well. Controlling the southern border means controlling the borders of North Africa and Europe, that is why all this has a strategic value”.


Source: medNews


The Maltese Government has formally applied for permits with the Maltese and Italian authorities concerned to construct a gas pipeline between Malta and Sicily. The pipeline is expected to be 151 kilometres long linking the south of Malta to Gela and targeted to be completed within seven years.

The project will be entitled to European Union funding as the European Commission stated that this is a project of common interest for Europe as EU member states should not be isolated from the European gas network.

The applications submitted by the Maltese Government request permits to begin infrastructural works between Gela in Sicily and Delimara in the south of Malta where currently the power station is being supplied with gas by a stationary docked tanker. 

The Maltese Minister for Energy Joe Mizzi confirmed that applications were submitted to the Italian Ministry for Economic Development and the Malta Planning Authority.

The European law posits a period of three and a half years for the processing of such permits thus the Maltese government is expecting formal permits to be issued by latest 2020 so that within the following four years the gas pipeline between Malta and Sicily will be complete.

Environmental and technical studies including a marine survey of the sea route are planned for next year. The survey will cost €8 million and may qualify for EU funding.

Last June a second study determined the best route for the gas pipeline between Malta and Sicily that will be approximately half a metre wide.


Source: medNews


Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci and Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek attended the inauguration of Ankara’s Furniture and Furniture Manufacturers Association (Ankamob) and Ankara Furniture Manufacturers Chamber of Commerce.

During his visit, Tufenkci explained that the industry will be led to make progress by means of initiatives, support and incentives for manufacturers, highlighting the fact that 158 people have had new job opportunities in this field.

He also pointed out that export has grown 8 times more than in 2002 in the furniture sector, specifying that “our goal is to reach an increase of more than $ 5 billion by 2023. We will contribute to the growth of the internal market by revitalizing it and creating new professional outlets. Taking into consideration that 2016 has been a difficult year for our local merchants, we therefore reduced VAT on many furniture items and other household appliances taxation.

Before 2001, Turkey had a major position in imports. Nowadays, investments continue to focus more and more on production and exports.



Source: medNews


The recovery of Tripoli’s special economic zone (TSEZ), in Lebanon, has been completed, thus infrastructure works can now begin.

The Council of Ministers has already allocated $ 15 million for infrastructure and another $ 30 million is needed to complete works, which will require a maximum of three years. The first license should be issued by 2020.

The Lebanese company “Al Jihad for Commerce & Contracting” was commissioned by the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) for the recovery of 550,000 square meters of sea north of the port of Tripoli, while the company “Rafik El Khoury & Partners” acted as consultant. The total value of the project is $ 22 million.



Source: medNews


Starting this summer, the new Tangier marina will be able to accommodate the first 400 boats, while another 1,200 berths are being built. The project was awarded to the SAPT company, with the goal of creating a navy complying with international standards, potentially competing on the Costa del Sol. Tanja Marina Bay (this is the name of the new marina in Tangier) will offer rentals for both long and short term, as well as technical equipment such as a dry dock, boat fuel distributors and a car park with over 450 places. In addition, there are collateral and entertainment activities such as a floating hotel, cruise services, entertainment and restaurant facilities, as well as commercial services. The renovation of the old railway station of the port of Tangier is linked to this project. It will welcome the sale showroom of the Marina and the headquarters of the company managing the port. By the end of 2017, the completion of the restructuring of the Tangier-ville Harbor Maritime Station will also be completed, and will continue to link Tangiers to the Spanish city of Tarifa, which is part of the overall plan for the revival of the port city. The marina project required an investment of 63 million euros, while the overall port investment amounted to 558 million euro, of which 198 million for port components, and 360 million for urban planning components (to be paid by UAE manufacturer Eagle Hills).

Source: medNews


The Maltese Parliament approved the law on equality in marriage, by which gay couples now have the right to marry.

The smallest state of the European Union became the 15th country within the EU to endorse the law on same-sex marriage; just three years after the Maltese Parliament had already approved the law on civil union. There are only 25 countries in the world whose citizens enjoy the right of such a law.

This means that the institution of marriage is now fully gender neutral to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and genderqueer (LGBTIQ) persons are free to contract a marriage with their loved ones, be they of the same or a different sex, and also to parent children without having unnecessary references to their gender or biological make-up on their children’s birth certificates.

It also means that all discrepancies between husband and wife have now been removed. For example, both are now free to adopt or take on their partner’s surname without distinction. Their siblings would then take on the family surname that the couple chooses on their marriage day.

During the process towards the adoption of the Bill, a lot of the discussion centred on whether it was necessary to convert civil marriage to a fully gender neutral institution. Government insisted that this was necessary in order to respect the anti-discrimination provisions in the country’s Constitution adopted in 2014 relative to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Additionally, Government indicated that both the Civil Unions Act, and the Cohabitation Act adopted in 2014 and 2016 respectively are both gender neutral, and that marriage should not be an exception. 

The law on equality in marriage was not unanimously approved as one of the opposition Nationalist MP made a statement before the vote that he would vote against the law. The controversy arose due to the fact that the wording in the law entirely removed the terminology ‘father’ and ‘mother’ and instead refers to parents or spouse.

Members of the Opposition Nationalist Party and a number of non-governmental organizations that endorse conservative beliefs criticized the use of this new terminology. They described it as an attack on the traditional family values and pointed out that this law will give access to other polemic issues such as the freezing of embryos and surrogacy.

While all parliamentary deputies representing the Labour Government and the two MPs of the Democratic Party in Opposition voted in favour of this law during all its stages, at least seven members of the main opposing party led by Simon Busuttil were in disagreement. However, at the final stage of the voting only one member of the Nationalist Party, Edwin Vassallo a fervent practicing Catholic retained his position and went against the Nationalist Parliamentary Group by voting against the law. He declared that although he understands that there must be a distinction between the State and the Church, his conscience does not allow him to vote in favour of a law that he considers ‘immoral’.

Both in Parliament and in his address to the LGBTIQ community in front of his office in Castille Square, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described this vote a ‘historic moment’ that demonstrates how the Maltese society has reached great levels of maturity where anyone can now declare that ‘we are all equal’.

The façade of the office of the Prime Minister, the majestic Auberge de Castille was lit with the rainbow colours synonymous of the LGBTIQ community during a celebration of dance and music.

During these celebrations, the Nationalist Party was represented by the Deputy Leader for Parliamentary Affairs Mario de Marco as well as a number of other deputies including two parliamentarians who have openly declared their sexual orientation and form part of the LGBTIQ community.

The Nationalist Party described the vote as a step towards equality in Maltese society, with the Leader of the Party Simon Busuttil thanking those parliamentarians who remained loyal to the position of the Party that had promised marriage between same-sex couples in its electoral manifesto leading to last month’s general election.

The law on equality in marriage was also promised by the Labour Party prior to the general election in early June with the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stating that this would be the very first law to be passed in Parliament during his second term in office.


Source: medNews

1 2 3 28