medNews

ISRAEL, DIAMONDS EXCHANGE ANNOUNCES THE ISSUE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY

While the Knesset Financial Committee analyzes agreements and policies for cryptocurrency use and operations, Israel Diamond CEO Eli Avidar displaces MPs by announcing that Ramat Gan’s Diamond Exchange will shortly issue a digital currency that will be supported by 25% of diamond purchases on the market and its volatility will be based on a transaction-specific index. The Israeli economic journal Globes reports it.

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel, Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg, noted that “the law defines a foreign currency as a banknote or promise of payment legally recognized abroad but which is not part of a legislative process in Israel, in which case the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies do not meet the definition legal status of a currency or foreign currency”. In addition to this and regardless of the legal definition, when examining the economic parameters of virtual currencies, the same do not seem to respond to the main function of a currency and in particular to the degree of credibility that users give to the financial instrument.

Trajtenberg also said that from the point of view of currency risks, the Bank of Israel considers that cryptocurrencies run the same risks as money transfers and, for these reasons, they must be carefully monitored. The Central Bank has therefore set up an internal committee to examine the subject.

The President of the Securities Authority (ISA) of Israel, Shmuel Hauser, said that the main problem of digital currencies is to give investors the feeling of being protected. “I am not against virtual currencies, but it is necessary to create an appropriate regulatory framework before allowing companies involved in cryptocurrencies to operate on an exchange”, he added.

The Head of the Israeli Tax Authority, Moshe Asher, has declared, finally, that the institution he presided over is aligned on the positions of the ISA”.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

ALGERIA, GDP GROWTH BY 1.4% IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2017

According to the Algerian National Bureau of Statistics (ONS), the global growth of Algerian GDP was 1.4% in the third quarter of 2017, while the GDP growth rate outside the hydrocarbons was 3.1% compared to the same period of 2016. This growth rate was mainly driven by the industrial sectors (5.9%), agricultural sectors (3.2%) as well as by construction, public works and plumbing (3.9%). The evolution of volumes (+ 1.4%) and of the current values of GDP (+ 8%) has led to a global price increase of 6.5%. Besides hydrocarbons, the recorded price increase was 3.8% in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period of 2016.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

SOUTHERN EUROPE "EU NEEDS MORE SUSTAINABLE AND BALANCED GROWTH"

“We, the Heads of State and Government of the Republic of Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain, have convened in Rome for the fourth Summit of the Southern European Union countries”. This is the declaration “Bringing the EU forward in 2018” after the summit of Rome.

“At the beginning of a year of full economic recovery after a decade of financial crisis, the EU is back to a path of growth. In times of hardship, the Union has developed new governance instruments and strengthened its capacity to react to global challenges. Much has been achieved following a combination of reforms at national level, fiscal discipline and investment. Europe is safer and stronger, but much remains to be done. A more sovereign, social and democratic Europe, which can be a leading model in the world, is our way forward. Together, we can address our citizens’ needs by setting a common ambition whilst being open to the involvement of all committed Member States, as we have just done in the field of defence. In Rome, in March 2017, we established an ambitious Agenda and pledged to work on all those issues that concern our citizens most: a safe and secure Europe, a prosperous and sustainable Europe, a social Europe, a stronger Europe on the global scene. In each area we have made concrete progress. We need to continue working in order to deliver tangible results in this direction. It will be key to fully combine economic growth and social wellbeing. Further steps to complete the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) are necessary to achieve more sustainable and balanced growth, competitiveness, quality employment and convergence. The future EMU should be more resilient, growth-friendly and democratic, so as to further consolidate that area of prosperity which constitutes the basis of the European project. Completing and strengthening the Banking Union is a priority”.

“The management of migration flows will be a fundamental challenge for the European Union in the years to come. The Southern EU countries are particularly concerned and affected as they are at the forefront of the EU external borders. Our fundamental role and burden of protecting those borders must be acknowledged and shared by the EU. The EU will have to redouble its fight against human trafficking and new forms of slavery, guarantee human rights of all persons and protect those in need of international protection, particularly the most vulnerable groups. We are strongly committed to a common European migration policy, to prevent irregular flows as well as to address the root causes of mass migration in dialogue and cooperation with the countries of origin and transit. We are determined to strengthen our partnerships with those countries, particularly in Africa”.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

ALBANIA, IMF CERTIFICATES POSITIVE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

According to the Report on Albania published by the IMF in the context of the consultations under Article IV, the Albanian economy continues to improve by taking advantage of the increase in domestic demand, foreign direct investment and the recovery of the main EU trading partners. Attention is however suggested to the Albanian authorities regarding the management of the public debt. The positive economic trend, with growth of around 4% of GDP, and the clear political mandate of the government, after the last general elections, offer a good opportunity to continue on the path of reforms, strengthening the competitiveness of the economy and the financial system respecting fiscal discipline. The Fund is particularly interested in reducing the rate of public debt (extending the terms and diversifying investors) and in the direction of measures to guarantee fiscal equilibrium (curbing tax reduction, preferential policies and exemption for some sectors) and reduce risks. In terms of investments and with reference to the government’s “one billion euro” program to attract funding for public works through the private public partnership formula, the Fund stresses the need for an appropriate framework for public private partnership projects, in accordance with international best practices. The Fund also expresses its concern about the progress of the reforms in the energy sector which “after an impressive start, have then found delays”. With reference to the banking system, the IMF reiterates the need for “continuous vigilance”, appreciating “progress in restructuring bad debts”.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

SICILY AND TUNISIA, MEETING ABOUT LEISHMANIASIS

Sicily is the historically oldest region for cases of leishmaniasis. The first manifestations of the disease on the island date back to the early 1900s.

In recent years, leishmaniasis has spread throughout the country and even in areas where it was previously non-existent, now there are several cases of the disease.

In the period 2013-2014 there has been a peak of human visceral leishmaniasis that has affected the hilly and pedestrian areas of the provinces of Reggio Emilia, Modena and especially Bologna, probably due to an increase in the density of the carrier caused in turn by particular climatic aspects environmental.

In Sicily leishmaniasis is constantly present over time. In the province of Palermo and Agrigento, this year there have been two cases of visceral leishmaniasis (the most dangerous, which can invade organs in particular the spleen and may even be fatal) and several cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis that produces an ulcer to epidermal level.

These are some of the data that emerged during the training event “The Leishmaniasis basin: new Insights into the Epidemiology of a Neglected Disease” which ended at the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Sicily.

Leishmaniasis is a complex disease, transmissible to humans by the bite of infected insects, the phlebotomist, which grows in damp and shady places, occupied by organic debris (undergrowth foliage, dens of small mammals, manure, heaps of stones and cracks of dry walls). They are the females that sting the host because they need to feed themselves with blood for the maturation of the eggs: they act more often at twilight, pricking the smooth areas of the skin, and they feed on the blood coming out of the wound.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis affect all age groups, especially males, adolescents and young adults, while visceral ones affect children, who are often in contact with tank dogs, but also non-immune or immunosuppressed adults.

Most infections are inapparent and often resolve spontaneously. Only a small part of cases evolve towards the full-blown form. Factors that favor evolution are genetic and also affect age, malnutrition, immunosuppression.

Leishmaniasis arrives in Sicily from the hottest countries, particularly from Tunisia. In the North African state, the leishmania mayor is very widespread, producing lepers and having as its animal the rodent. Since Sicily is a cross-border region, concerns emerge that the mayor may enter Sicily. At the moment, in Sicily, no case has been registered.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

ENI BEGINS PRODUCING FROM ZOHR

Eni has produced its first gas from the supergiant Zohr field in a record time for this type of field of less than two and a half years. The discovery, which is located in the Shorouk Block, offshore Egypt approximately 190 km north of Port Said, has a potential in excess of 30 Tcf of gas in place (about 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent).

Zohr, discovered in August 2015, obtained the investment authorization after just six months in February 2016. It is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea, and will be able to satisfy a part of Egypt’s natural gas demand for decades to come.

Zohr is one of Eni’s seven record-breaking projects, which have involved rapid development and production, and is testament to the success of Eni’s Dual Exploration Model, adopted by 2013. The approach is based on a simple principle: while the reserves of hydrocarbons grow through the exploration successes, Eni can benefit from early monetization thanks to the sale of minority stakes, all while maintaining operatorship of the asset. By parallelizing exploration, appraisal and development phases, the time-tomarket is quicker, equity development cost are lowered, and Eni achieves an accelerated 2 cash flow. This winning combination allowed Eni to generate $9bn from its exploration activities between 2014 and 2017.

Eni’s CEO, Claudio Descalzi, commented: «Today is a historic day for us. It further confirms the capability of Eni’s women and men to turn challenging opportunities into unprecedented achievements. The start-up of Zohr is the direct result of our unique knowhow, our ability to innovate in technology and of our tenacity in pursuing even the most challenging goals, of which we are very proud. This project has been possible exploiting to the maximum level the competences, the skills as well as the human and infrastructural capabilities that this Country offers in terms of local content. It will completely transform Egypt’s energy landscape, allowing it to become self-sufficient and to turn from an importer of natural gas into a future exporter. I would like to thank the Egyptian Authorities and all our Partners in this incredible project for their all-important contributions and the whole Egyptian petroleum sector which provided full support to achieve Zohr project in a record time».

Eni holds a 60% stake in Shorouk Block, Rosneft 30% and BP 10%. The company is coOperator of the project through Petrobel, jointly held by Eni and the state corporation Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), on behalf of Petroshorouk, jointly held by Eni and the state company Egyptian Natural Gas holding Company (EGAS).


Source: medNews

TUNISIA, 21 MILLION EUROS EIB LOAN TO ONE TECH HOLDING

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted to the Tunisian group One Tech Holding (wiring, mechatronics, IT, electronics) a financing agreement worth 21 million euros with the aim of supporting the extension and the modernization of the production capacity of the Tunisian holding in the cable / mechatronics sectors.

One Tech Holding also intends to invest in research, development and innovation in these sectors with a project that will contribute to the creation of over 720 permanent jobs in Tunisia.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

ISRAEL, PASSENGER TRAFFIC AT BEN GURION AIRPORT ON THE RISE

Continuing the trend of the first months, November 2017 ended with an increase in passenger traffic: 1.45 million passengers traveled through the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport, 18% more than in November 2016.

Passenger traffic thus totaled 18.8 million transits in the period January-November, 16% more than the corresponding period last year. Traffic was boosted by Ryanair, which began its full operation in Israel in October this year, and transported 5,500 passengers from the Ben Gurion airport. The number of airplanes that used the Ben Gurion airport in November was 10,117, 17% more than in November 2016. Figures are announced by the Israeli Authority of ports and airports, taken from the Globes business newspaper . November is considered a weak month for passenger traffic, but the number of passengers traveling abroad has continued to grow, due to the relatively low November prices and the popularity of business travel during this period, before the Christian holidays.

A map of cities visited by Israelis includes New York, Paris, Rome, London, Amsterdam and Bucharest. Many passengers have passed through Istanbul and Moscow airports to reach other destinations.

The airlines with the most frequent number of trips are the following: El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) with 400,000 passengers, a variation of 3.5% compared to last year. Turkish Airlines, in second place, with 88,000 passengers, 8% more than last year. The British airline easyJet with 76,000 passengers, 27% more than the corresponding month last year, followed by the Hungarian carrier Wizz Air, whose passenger activities in Israel reached 71,000 in November, double compared to last year. The Russian airline Aeroflot, which is getting stronger in the connecting flight business, flew 62,600 passengers in November.

Other airlines that gained ground in November include LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd., Transavia.

In the first 11 months of 2017, the five main airlines for passenger traffic were El Al, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, EasyJet and Israir.

Destination countries include Turkey, mainly as an intermediate stop to other destinations, the United States, Germany, Italy, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Poland.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

MEDITERRANEAN, ALFANO "ERASMUS UNITE PEOPLE"

“It is necessary to build a partnership based on strategic investment on young people, working on two sources promoting entrepreneurial activities and cultural exchanges. We will sign an agreement for a great Mediterranean Erasmus that Italy will support with scholarships and greater mobility”. This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Angelino Alfano, speaking at the third edition of the Forum Rome MED 2017-Mediterranean. “This is the right way to build a Mediterranean identity, to bring our peoples and our countries closer to investing in culture. The Mediterranean – he adds – can become a meeting point between different cultures or can degenerate into a situation of confrontation, terror and desperation, it is up to us to do everything possible so that the first condition can be fulfilled “.

“The Mediterranean must be a line that unites and the mobility of young talents is fundamental to foster mutual knowledge and a constructive exchange between the north and the southern shores of the Mediterranean. For this reason we have thought of an Erasmus of the Mediterranean, with scholarships and mobility programs for university students and young researchers. An investment in culture to open new channels of dialogue and create a common Mediterranean identity, which favors the conditions for security and peace in the region”, says Alfano, on the signing of the Joint Declaration on the “Mediterranean Erasmus initiative”.

The Declaration was signed by Minister Alfano, by the Vice-President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Ahmed Maitig, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic and Popular Algerian Republic, Abdelkader Messahel, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Tunisian Republic, Khemaies Jhinaoui and the Ambassador of the Republic of Lebanon, Mira Daher Violides.

The aim of the project is to reiterate the centrality of the Mediterranean for Italian foreign policy and the importance of meetings and exchanges between students and young researchers, as a fundamental tool for strengthening mutual knowledge and understanding among the Mediterranean countries.

The idea of an Erasmus of the Mediterranean constitutes a concrete continuation of the path started with the program of the Farnesina, “Italy, Culture, Mediterranean”, launched in the margins of the OSCE Conference of Palermo on 24 and 25 October.

With the Declaration, Italy commits itself two fronts: 1) to increase the number of scholarships for students of the aforementioned countries; 2) encourage, within the EU, the strengthening of the Erasmus + Program, so that mobility programs to and from these countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean are recognized as a priority and greater financial resources are allocated.

The Declaration also establishes the shared commitment to promote and further support inter-university cooperation and encourage the creation of programs aimed at obtaining qualifications that are recognizable in their respective legal systems.


Source: medNews

MOROCCO, SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IMPROVED

A study was presented in Rabat on the socio-economic development of the Moroccan population, carried out by the Haut-Commissariat au Plan (HCP), in collaboration with the World Bank. This report highlights the improvement of living conditions in Morocco, especially for the poorest, as witnessed by the continuous reduction of poverty and economic vulnerability. A positive situation benefiting both the urban and rural population. Nevertheless, the disparities between the city and the countryside remain considerable: in the first, the incidence of poverty in the period 2001-2014 has dropped from 7.6% to 1.6%. In the same period of time, from 25.1% to 9.5% in the countryside.

Despite the positive trend in income data, the perceived poverty index should be emphasized: between 2007 and 2014 the subjective poverty rate found among Moroccan citizens increased by 3.4%, reaching 45.1% and it is conditioned by the feeling of the most disadvantaged social classes, particularly widespread among young people and women. The study defines Morocco as a medium-low income country; in 2014, the wealthy class accounted for 10.1% of the population, the average class for 58.7%, the categories at risk for poverty 26.4% and the poor for only 4.8%. It should also be noted that the structure of the labor market is dominated by low-level jobs, the result of the lack of high-tech economic activities. Finally, the labor market in Morocco does not appear to be sufficiently inclusive and able to create a number of appropriate opportunities with respect to population pressure.


Source: medNews

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