The Spanish Minister of Economy, Luis de Guindos, fixed at 3%, the growth rate of GDP in 2016, thus improving the forecasts sent to Brussels last April (2.7%). In fact – despite the period of uncertainty politics after the failure of contacts between political parties to form government – the Spanish economy recorded in the period January / March 2016 an increase of 0.8%; in annual terms the growth rate stood at 3.4%, exceeding by about two percentage points above the EU average (1.5%).

Domestic consumption continues to be the engine of growth, domestic demand recorded a 0.9% increase in the first three months of this year, the rate reaching 3.7% in annual terms. Public consumption has maintained its expansionary trend, despite the deficit target failure in 2015.

The positive performance of the Spanish GDP has, however, some signs of deceleration. In fact, gross fixed investment rose by 1.1% growth rates in the period October / December 2015 to the current 0.4% (January / March 2016). Stands out, also, the investment downturn in the construction sector (-0.2%), after two years of uninterrupted growth; despite, the construction activity continues to mark growth in annual terms (+ 3.1% compared to the first quarter last year).

The quarterly change in investment in capital goods amounted to 1.3% against 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase trend has positioned slightly below 10%.

Similarly, the trend in the foreign sector was more moderate, reflecting the slowdown in emerging economies and some of the customer markets of Spanish exports. Local exports of goods and services rose from an annual growth rate of 5.8% to 3.7%. Analysis shows there was a slight decrease of 0.5% against the 0.9% rise which occurred at the end of 2015.

Finally, as regards the occupation there was an annual increase of 3.2%, two tenths higher rate than in the fourth quarter of 2015. Based on the data of the INE (Spanish Statistics Institute) there were created 533,000 jobs in last twelve months.


Source: medNews


MassChallenge is the new startup accelerator that opened its activity in these days in Jerusalem in the Mahane Yehuda neighborhood.

48 new startups from around the world have been admitted to a special program: in addition to benefit from the general working conditions dates from an accelerator will participate in training courses and will have significant contacts with professional partners both in Israel and in other countries.

The end of program will be on 27 October and during the closing ceremony will be awarded prizes for a total of 1 million NIS (approximately 240,000 euro) to all those companies that will be marked for the innovation of their projects.

45% of eligible companies from industry-tech, 20% from the field of life sciences and 10% from activities inherent in the social sphere.

The MassChallenge is an accelerator nonprofit active in the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland and Israel.

Over the past six years they have been eligible to take part 835 companies from around the world getting financing for 1 million dollars (830 million euro approx) and there were created 8500 new jobs.


Source: medNews


Two guide dog puppies that were raised locally arrived last night from Messina, Sicily, where they were officially handed over to their new guide dog partners in a moving ceremony at city hall.

The two new ‘teams’ are Michael Scerri from Xaghra, Gozo, and his guide dog Justy, and Joseph Vella from Marsaxlokk and his guide dog Juno. The Fleming family that puppy raised Justy and Charlene Darmanin, who along with her husband David raised Juno, were present at the handing over ceremony in Messina.

Also present were Malta Guide Dogs Foundation Chairman Leone Sciberras and Hon Secretary Lilibeth Cachia.

Justy and Juno were initially brought to Malta in August, 2014, from a breeding centre in France and after they were a year old were taken to the Helen Keller Regional Centre Guide Dog School of the Italian Blind Union last June, where they were entrusted to two professional trainers, Francesco Cucinotta (who has trained other guide dogs currently in service in Malta) and Giovanni Visalli Garufi.

For Michael, a civil servant, this is his second guide dog after his first guide dog, Pixy, was retired. For Joseph, a father of three who is a database administrator, this is his first guide dog. Both men spent two weeks in Messina bonding with their guide dogs and learning how to be proficient guide dog handlers.

Joseph remarked that he now feels confident entrusting Juno to work with him as he commutes every day on public transport and on foot to the office.

Sciberras expressed satisfaction that the two puppies have been successfully matched with local handlers: “We have now started a phase in the lifecycle of the MGDF when guide dogs currently in service will be retiring either for age reasons or for other reasons, so we will be seeking to replace a number of these dogs over a period of time.

“We also renew our appeal to those suffering from visual impairment who wish to obtain new freedom and independence through OM (orientation and mobility training) and eventually wish to have a guide dog to approach the MGDF. We provide this service free of charge to them.”

Sciberras thanked the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), which is covering the travelling expenses, and Borg Cardona & Co. Ltd, who supplied Royal Canin dog food for free to the puppies.


Source: medNews


The Marina of Bizerte, “Cap 300”, was inaugurated Saturday, May 28, by the Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts, Salma Elloumi the presence of numerous officials and other deputies.

The Tunisian Minister stressed the importance of the realization of this project, after 11 years of delay, after the announcement of its launch, adding that it will help enhance the field of nautical tourism in the region, because it is the second largest port of its kind after to Gammarth, opened in 2015.

The Governor of Bizerte, Menaouer Ouertani, said that the positive effects of the project will not only evident in the region, but will affect the whole country, because it is a cutting-edge tourist project at the national level, so that the regional authorities will work to bring completed all its components.

The opening of the marina, that will accommodate 300 boats in particular yachts ranging in length from 6 to 30 meters, will be followed by the recovery of the residential complex jobs.

The total value of investments of Marina Bizerte project amounts to 300 million dinars (MTD). The port is one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean, capable of seating more than 50 boats with a length between 40 and 110 meters and a parking lot with a capacity of 250 cars.


Source: medNews


On 1 June 2016, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed, on behalf of the Council, a decision to provide a maximum of €500 million in macro-financial assistance to Tunisia.

The aim is to support economic stabilisation of the country and a substantive reform agenda, contributing to reducing its external financing gap. The support will be shared with the IMF, which on 20 May 2016 extended the arrangement under its extended fund facility for Tunisia for US$2.9 billion.

The European Parliament is expected to approve the decision at first reading at its plenary session on 6 9  June 2016. The Council will then be called on to adopt the text, as agreed with the Parliament, with no amendments to the Commission’s proposal.

The assistance will be available for a period of two and a half years. It will be provided in the form of loans, to be disbursed in three instalments. The loans will have a maximum average maturity of 15 years.

The assistance will be subject to a memorandum of understanding (MOU), to be agreed between the Commission and Tunisia. The MOU will lay down clearly defined economic policy and financial conditions, focusing on structural reforms and sound public finances.

A precondition for granting macro-financial assistance will be that Tunisia respects effective democratic mechanisms and the rule of law, and guarantees respect for human rights.

The Commission and the European External Action Service will monitor the fulfilment of this pre-condition throughout the life-cycle of the macro-financial assistance.


Source: medNews


In April of 2016, the number of real estate transactions in Cyprus grew by 35% and reached 514 transactions, compared to the same month 2015. This growth is mainly due to sales in Limassol and Larnaca and its external demand.

In Limassol and Larnaca areas, the number of transactions increased by 44%, respectively, reaching 166 transactions and 90% to 127 transactions.

A Famagusta and Paphos, there has been a corresponding growth in real estate transactions by 106% and 14%.

The number of foreign buyers, the same in April 2016, has doubled compared to April 2015. Also during the period from January to April 2016, the number of properties sold increased by 27% to 1,881 units, compared to the same period of 2015, including properties purchased by banks as part of agreements restructuring loans. The number of properties bought by foreigners in the first four months of 2016 increased by 70% to 273 over the same period of 2015.

Only in the Nicosia area, the real estate sales showed an annual decline of 10% to 79%.


Source: medNews


The World Bank has approved a new plan for Tunisia in aid and loans worth more than 5 billion dollars, which will be paid in five years. This was announced by a press release of the World Bank, specifying that these measures will contribute to the resumption of economic growth in the country, to support the marginalized regions and to facilitate the creation of jobs, especially for young people, women.


Source: medNews


Alcoa Fastening Systems & Rings, an American company producing components and metal fittings for the automotive and aviation industry, has recently opened a factory in the free zone of Nouaceur, in the Casablanca region. The new industrial facility covers a floor area of 6,300 square meters and will employ about 200 employees up to speed. The total investment is estimated at 10 million dollars, of which 4.5 in capital goods. The grounds of the Alcoa plant was acquired in July 2015, through specific agreements with MidParc SA (which manages the industrial platform inside the free zone) and the aviation industry Moroccan Association (, Groupement marocaines Aéronautiques des industries et spatiales). According to allegations made by the top management of Alcoa Fixations Casablanca, the new factory will produce sub-contracted parts and components for major clients such as Airbus and Safran. The American company, specializes in metal fabrication, stamping and forming of special steels and already has some thirty industrial sites distributed in various parts of the world. With the new factory in Casablanca, Alcoa joins the group of large companies in the aviation sector (in addition to the above Safran and Airbus, is reminiscent of the Canadian Bombardier and the American Boeing and Hexcel) that have opened factories in Morocco. The government of the North African country has provided important incentives to Alcoa, through the Acceleration Plan, which aims to triple by 2020 the number of employees in the industry and double the export turnover.


Source: medNews


According to LCEC, Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation, the new plan NEEREA – National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, could lead to energy savings of more than 1,500 GWh if it will materialize. The first plan NEEREA was launched by the Lebanese Government in 2001 and was recently renewed for the 2016-2020 five-year period.

The estimated energy savings would be equivalent to over 225 million dollars on an annual basis, starting in 2020. The electricity sector, as well as other sectors such as construction, industry, agriculture and infrastructure, provides the most great potential for energy savings, amounting to more than 686 GWh.

For the realization of the plan are necessary financing of between 600-950 million dollars for the five years, that would be a tremendous boost for the internal market.


Source: medNews


The Intesa Sanpaolo Group, through its network of banks in Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, estimated to provide credit facilities for a total of a billion euro in favor of Western Balkan SMEs involved initiative. It was said by Ignacio Jaquotot, head of foreign banks division of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, during the international conference ‘Supporting local enterprises and sms’s along china’s belt and road initiative in South eastern Europe’ organized Central European Initiative (CEI) and the Bank European Agency for reconstruction and development (EBRD).

“The financing, mainly in the medium to long term and leasing, intended for business customers of the network of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group in the Western Balkans, will be an amount up to 15 million and the maximum as a rule last no longer than 10 years – Jaquotot added – and will aim to finance the purchase of plant, machinery, equipment or vehicles, in addition to the purchase, construction, expansion and renovation of industrial plants and investments in intangible assets related to infrastructure projects in the belt and road initiative, including the expenses for research, development and innovation”.


Source: medNews

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