Tag Archives: Top News


Europe’s infrastructure sector has a new ally: Christine Lagarde, who has been nominated to succeed Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank. According to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence, the research arm of Bloomberg, the news and information company, infrastructure was recognised by Lagarde as playing an important role in helping economies grow when she was managing director of the International Monetary Fund. And this could have an influence on decisions taken within the European Union regarding infrastructure investment at a time when the region is lagging behind Asia. As developed countries in that region invest the equivalent of 36.8% of their collective gross domestic product in the sector, the euro zone has stopped at 21%. It is a percentage that could rise when considering how Lagarde in April told the second summit of the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing that China’s massive investments in transport infrastructure would have a considerable impact on growth. Europe is set to spend during the next 10 years $1 trillion on infrastructure, from energy to transport, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The European Union is obviously doing its part, with $24 billion earmarked for roads, railways, air transport and water. One of its biggest initiatives is the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which will better connect the single market’s 500 million consumers.

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EUROPE – Europe, especially thanks to cities like Paris, is returning to invest in major infrastructure projects, partly thanks to TEN-T, which is connecting the region’s railway network, many parts of which are equipped for high-speed travel. According to the Bloomberg Intelligence, this trend has been confirmed by the European Commission’s confidence indicator in the sector, which shows that business sentiment is very high. The trend is also confirmed by how the level of investment at the end of March rose by 2.7% compared with the same period last year. Euroconstruct, which publishes every year a development index on the sector, sees the market for public works growing by 1.9% this year. A good part of the drive behind this rise comes from France where mega projects are under way like the Grand Paris Express, a rail and metro network that will connect the periphery of Paris with the historic centre. In Germany, meanwhile, growth is seen stalled at 0.2%. Euroconstruct sees other countries like France, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Eastern European countries growing at higher rates. The Nordics, however, are slowing down.

THE ROLE OF BIG COMPANIES – 2019 will be an important year for big companies. The performance of one of the world’s leading stock market indices, the S&P 500, confirms this projection. It is up 17.8% so far this year as a result of strong fundamentals with infrastructure spending rising in several reasons, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. This year does have its risks, however. These include geopolitical tensions as the United States is embroiled in a trade spat with China and confronting Iran in the Gulf. The sector’s global players are looking with interest at China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a veritable Marshall Plan for infrastructure that could open the way for $4 trillion to $8 trillion worth of investments in the next 10 years. Big contracts have been signed in countries like Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan as China looks to reach Europe with an efficient and modern transport network to create an intercontinental highway for people and goods.

AMERICA CATCHING UP – With Asia forging ahead and Europe taking up speed, the United States seems to be at a stand still. According to a Bloomberg Intelligence forecast, U.S. spending on transport infrastructure will reach $306 billion a year for the next 10 years against $245 billion by 2016. The amount is significant, but it is deemed not to be enough to modernise fully the infrastructure network. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the country needs to invest as much as $454 billion a year to bridge the infrastructure gap. Of the total, nearly 60% of investments should be directed towards highways and bridges. The delay that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has had in executing its own infrastructure plan has been due to a lack of consensus with the opposition Democrats as well as foreign policy issues. Meanwhile, other players that could play a role in pushing the agenda forward are public-private partnerships and infrastructure funds. Bloomberg Intelligence calculates that these funds managed $85 billion worth of assets in the United States in 2018, and the amount could double at the end of this year. They could offer an answer to the needs facing the country’s infrastructure, which is in need of a big push forward to catch up with other parts of the world that are far ahead of it in terms of modernising roads, railways and other crucial infrastructure.

Source: medNews


The sound of the violins where the Vaia storm has fallen. Right there – in the forest of violins in Val Veneggia in the park of Paneveggio – where the wood for the Stradivari instruments was born – the strings with their melody will convey a message of life and hope. The event “The violins, the Voices of the Alps” will be staged on Saturday 13 August, at 3 pm, in Val Venegia, as part of the Italian presidency of Eusalp 2019 coordinated by the Lombardy Region in collaboration with the Autonomous Province of Trento and the South Tyrol Region . The strategy of the Alps unites Italy with France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

With this initiative we want to promote the themes at the center of the Italian presidency Eusalp with the green economy that sees craftsmanship – especially the artistic one – as a great development engine for the entire Alpine area. It also aims to highlight the contribution that a strong circular economy can make to the development of the entire mountain and Po Valley area.

The protagonists will be the youth of the youth orchestra of the Cremona Conservatory “Claudio Monteverdi” with music by Vivaldi, Bach, Pachelbel and Mozart. The orchestra also includes young people who attend the violin making school in Cremona. At the end of the concert, the president of Ersaf Lombardia will donate to the Autonomous Province of Trento some spruce plants from the nursery of Curno, in the Lombardy Region . The public will be able to visit the exhibition and the Bottega del Liutaio at the edge of the forest with a demonstration by the maestro Sandro Asinari, vice president of the Stradivari Violinmakers Consortium of Cremona.

“Our planet can no longer support a development model based on intensive resource consumption: we must build a development model based on sustainability. This need becomes even more evident in the territories that are concentrated around the Alpine arc – the councillor of Lombardy Region for Environment and Climate Raffaele Cattaneo explained – The wisdom of the Alpine regions, like Trentino, together with a strong tradition has been able to understand the challenges of the circular economy and sustainability over time and has allowed this territory to react to the devastation that struck it. “

“The environment is the engine of the social and economic development of Trentino and of the entire Alpine region”  the Vice President of the Province Mario Tonina said, who highlighed how “the ability of the Trentino population to react after the devastation caused by bad weather is a distinctive  trait to be very proud of ”.

Source: medNews


The Kinder+Sport Tennis Trophy is back for the third year in a row. This time, the international tennis tournament for children aged nine to 12 is welcoming two new countries alongside the ones from last year, for an overall total of 13 countries playing in 172 tournaments.
The first phase began on 2 February in the town of Alba, in Italy, with the “Tennis Trophy Fit – Kinder+Sport”. This was followed by a tournament on 22 March in Austria. The next stop will be held in Luxembourg at the Tennis Club Husen from 12 to 21 July. Then others in Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Monaco, Poland and the Ukraine.
The winners of these will go on to the International Masters, the finals of which will be held from 17 to 20 October at the exclusive Monte Carlo Country Club, site of the ATP Tour.
As an integral part of Kinder+Sport Joy of Moving – the Ferrero Group international Social Responsibility project set up to get children and families involved in fun-filled motor activity – the Kinder+Sport Tennis Trophy is more than an athletic competition. The trophy focuses on values like trust in yourself and others, integration, respect and friendship.
The guiding principle of the tournament is that matches are played without referees, so that children can put their honesty and integrity to the test on the court. In keeping with this principle, the Fair Play Trophy is awarded at the end of each national tournament to recognise the young tennis player who has stood out the most for their honesty and good sportsmanship.
The initiative began in Italy in 2006. It was the brainchild of tennis star Rita Grande and Kinder+Sport Joy of Moving. In recent years, it has become more international in scope, helping spread the concept of an active lifestyle to younger generations. In past editions, the finalists also had the opportunity to meet world-renowned tennis idols Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fabio Fognini, Simone Bolelli, Corrado Barazzutti and Nicola Pietrangeli, as well as coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

At Kinder, we believe that a happy child today will make a better adult tomorrow and that is why we have always aimed to bring little but important moments of joy to children and families around the world.
However, not everyone knows that for years Kinder has also been committed to another important objective: to bring joy to children through moving, encouraging their natural inclination to be active, move and play.

That is why we started Kinder+Sport Joy of Moving, an international Ferrero Group Social Responsibility project.
To date the Kinder +Sport Joy of Moving project has inspired four million children and their families in 30 countries around the world to get active, enjoy moving, and develop life skills in an engaging and joyful way. At the heart of the project is the strong belief that a positive attitude towards movement will make today’s children, better adults tomorrow.

The initiatives of this project are inspired by Joy of Moving: an innovative, scientifically recognized educational method. The Joy of Moving methodology aims to get children moving, through play whilst also developing key skills in four major areas: physical fitness, motor coordination, cognitive function and creativity, life skills. Joy of Moving instinctively shifts the focus from performance to fun, from competition to collaboration.

Irrespective of the sports discipline, the playing field and the level of performance or ability of the child, Kinder+ Sport lets the joy of movement win.
Kinder+Sport Joy of Moving organizes and supports physical education programs in and out of schools, sporting events for children and school competitions with the aim to guarantee that movement is above all a joy for children. Kinder + Sport Joy of Moving also runs multidisciplinary events to bring children closer to sport, collaborates with athletes and former champions to inspire, and supports research projects focused on the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Kinder+Sport Joy of moving operates around the world with high profile, qualified and expert partners, including institutions, ministries, universities, four Olympic Committees, 126 sporting federations and associations, and the ISF (International School Sport Federation).

Source: medNews


Sustainable growth and circular economy in the Alpine area: these are the themes at the center of the two-day Milan “BOOSTALPS 2.0”, organized by the Lombardy Region, within the framework of the Italian Presidency of Eusalp 2019, and by Confindustria Lombardia .

 With a population of 80 million inhabitants, an extension of 450,000 square kilometers and a GDP of over 3,000 billion euros, 48  Regions, Länder and Cantons of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Switzerland the Alpine Macroregion – EUSALP represents the economic heart and manufacturing hub of Europe. This Macroregion has therefore full title to direct and influence the economic and industrial policies of the Europe of the future.

 Marco Bonometti, President of Confindustria Lombardia, speaking at Palazzo Lombardia, stated that “sustainability in production processes is the key to the competitiveness of companies on the global market and the Alpine Macroregion represents the ideal context to contribute to the European Union’s strategy on the circular economy, through the development and promotion of synergies between macro-regional strategic supply chains with benefits on the competitiveness of the area in the global market “.

“Businesses need certainty and clear rules to continue investing in the circular economy. The timing of politics cannot curb the momentum of the circular economy, a true element of industry’s competitiveness; secondly by promoting an interregional tender to encourage the circular economy, collaboration between supply chains and partnership projects between the regions of the area “, concludes Bonometti.

 Raffaele Cattaneo, Councilor for Environment and Climate of the Lombardy Region and responsible for the strategy of the Macroregion Alpina Eusalp in his opening speech confirmed “the commitment for this presidency of Eusalp to bring the competitiveness of the macro-region to the interregional European scale through the promotion of new job opportunities in the green economy and innovative technologies sectors. Today innovation means sustainability

For the Councilor for Economic Development of the Lombardy Region Alessandro Mattinzoli “Circular economy is a fundamental and new theme for both designers and institutions. Therefore it is necessary to stimulate and support economically innovative experimental projects that can translate into concrete operational paths and replicable good practices. Just last Monday the tender on this issue started, and we hope it will be a success, because it responds to the real needs of companies”.


Source: medNews


Sustainable growth and circular economy in the Alpine area: these are the themes of ‘BOOSTALP 2.0’ scheduled for July 3-4 in Milan organized by Lombardy Region, as part of the Italian Presidency of Eusalp 2019, and by Confindustria Lombardy. 

The high-level conference aims to offer institutions, companies, universities, research centres, institutions and stakeholders from the most competitive regions of Europe the opportunity to meet, exchange opinions and explore new solutions, business models, technologies related to the circular economy, with a specific focus on the textile sector. 

On July 3, 2:30 p.m., the president of Lombardy Region Attilio Fontana will open the meeting. After this, the Keynote speech by the journalist of the Sole 24 Ore Jacopo Gilberto and two roundtables: the first one dedicated to the increase of innovation within the Ecosystem in the Eusalp area, the second one dedicated to policies for the Economy key to sustainability and development. 

The two sessions will include the interventions of regional councillors Alessandro Mattinzoli for Economic Development and Raffaele Cattaneo for the Environment and Climate; as well as Marino Vago, president of the Italian Fashion System; by Nicola Semeraro of the FederlegnoArredo Board of Directors; Franco Iacop, president of the Interregional Group of the macroregion at the Alpine European Committee of the Regions, Marco Bonometti president of Confindustria Lombardy, Ingrid Felipe- Saint Hilaire vice president and head of infrastructure of Tyrol , Giacomo Raul Giampedrone, Councillor for Infrastructure in the Liguria Region and Mercedes Bresso, rapporteur for the European Strategy of the Alpine Region in the European Parliament. 

The second day, to be opened at 10 o’clock by the greeting of Lara Magoni, regional councillor for Territorial Marketing, Tourism and Fashion, will be dedicated to the circular economy in textiles and will close with a speech by Aldo Tempesti, Cluster Manager Cluster Made in Italiy. The day will end with B2B meetings for participating companies.

Source: medNews


Turkey’s food tourism sector is expected to hit all-time highs in terms of the number of tourists and revenue this year.

As part of Turkey’s target of 50 million tourists and $40 billion in turnover, the share of food tourism is expected to hit $8 billion to $10 billion this year. Kaya Demirer, the Chairman of Turkish Restaurants and Entertainment Association (TURY?D), said gastronomy spending per capita for tourists was $650 last year. “We are expecting that figure to hit $720 this year. We are focusing on gastronomic tourism with a series of promotions. We have also received full support from the Ministry” Demirer added that they expected turnover of at least $8 billion in 2019, in parallel with the record expectation in the tourism sector.

According to industry data, the food tourism turnover in Antalya alone is around 2.5 billion euros ($2,81 billion). Turkey Butchers’ Federation head Fazli Yalçindag said the revival in the tourism sector also increased the demand for the meat sector, adding that 5% of the meat produced in Turkey was consumed in the tourism sector. Even a 1% increase in demand is very significant for animal breeders. Since boutique hotels and tourist facilities make their purchases from local traders around the country, tourism contributes to every sector.


It is estimated that $200 million worth of fruits and vegetables are consumed per year in touristic facilities. This figure is equal to one-quarter of exports to Russia.Kemal Kaçmaz, the chairman of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association of Turkey (TYMSIB), said that lemons kept on the tree past the fully ripened stage and oranges for juicing were preferred in the tourist facilities in summer, while 70% of the citrus fruit in the warehouses were consumed in this period. 

According to the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) survey, the annual food consumption of a hotel with 400 rooms and 65% occupancy covers 56 tons of food for breakfast, 580 tons of vegetables and fruits, 59 tons of red meat, 40 tons of white meat, 12,5 tons of delicatessen meats, 35 tons of seafood, 322.000 eggs, 35,5 tons of potatoes, 41,5 tons of flour, 666.000 liters of beverages, 80 tons of milk and dairy products, and 412.000 liters of bottled water.

Source: Daily Sabah Business.



Source: medNews


Leaders from the ‘EUMed7’ countries—Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain—were in Malta today for the sixth Southern EU Countries Summit hosted by Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. The half-day summit included a roundtable discussion on opportunities for the region, plus issues of common concern, from climate change to migration and the EU Budget.

The summit was attended by Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy; Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus; Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece;  António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal; and Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain.

The leaders agreed about the need of more comprehensive approach on the issue of migration; insisting on identifying channels for legal migration, better control of the European Union’s external borders, the need of a new reform and common European asylum system to guarantee a fair burdern sharing as a show of solidarity amongst member states, more efforts to fight the illegal traffickers of migrants, a properly financed common migration policy and a call for all vessels operating in the Mediterranean to respect the international laws.

During a joint press conference in Valletta, Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte appealed for more European economic growth, also through public investments instead of securing economic stability through austerity measures. He declared that Italy does not need to take corrective measures. The European Commission is ready to start an excessive deficit procedure against Italy, if  the Italian government does not take the necessary actions. The European Commission found that Italy’s debt stood at more than 132 per cent of GDP in 2018, far above the European Union’s 6o percent limit.

During the first session of the summit, the Prime Minister of Malta said “being an island in the middle of the Mediterranean, and a bridge between Europe and Africa, Malta has always been perfectly placed to act as an interlocutor for debate on regional issues”, while noting the aim was to coordinate ways to work together, recorded in the official declaration signed after the summit.

“The timing of this summit is also crucial”, the Maltese Prime Minister said as he opened the roundtable discussions, stating how those present needed to be part of the decisions being taken about the future of the EU. “The EU is expected to, and should, play a meaningful global role by stimulating stability and growth.”

Quoting the Mediterranean Chapter of the Helsinki Final Act signed in 1975, that ‘there can be no peace and stability in Europe, without security and stability in the Mediterranean’,  Prime Minister Muscat said this remains a priority for the EUMed7 alliance till this day, especially in a less stable world.

“Our work needs to be guided by a set of principles that will shape the future of Europe in the world. Principles which include putting the EU’s social agenda at the forefront of the region’s work, to further promote gender equality and LGBTIQ rights.”

He said economic growth, which leads to more and better jobs, must also be at the centre of the alliance’s policies. “Which is why our region needs to be at the forefront of innovation, a hotbed for the creation, development and roll-out of emerging citizen-centric technologies, designed to enhance socio-economic wellbeing.”

With this in mind, the Prime Minister announced a Summit follow up meeting—the Telecommunications Ministerial Conference—which will be held in Malta next year.

However, Prime Minister Muscat added that no amount of economic prosperity can be lasting without tackling the effects of accelerating climate change in the Mediterranean region. “We need to ensure we intensify our work on the EU’s climate strategy, mindful of regional specificities, to implement the objectives we all agreed to in the Paris Agreement.”

He said energy security is also a priority. “We need a well-connected Mediterranean region as a precondition for a fully functioning energy market aimed at sustainability, affordability, and security of supply.”

As is regional stability, with an unstable Libya being a direct threat. “Our call for ceasefire and the engagement with the United Nations to ensure a full and comprehensive cessation of hostilities is a first step in the long process of rebuilding Libya.” He also commended the work of the Libyan Coast Guard, who had been effective in their work.

Stability in the rest of Africa is also crucial when it comes to migration issues. “Our geographical location makes us susceptible to persistent migratory pressures. Progress has been made only through the goodwill of a number of states willing to share the responsibility of this phenomenon.”

However, he added, “we need to look at a more permanent mechanism within the context of a fully functioning migration policy, based on a balance of responsibility and solidarity. Crucial in this regard is the need to ensure that all vessels operating in the Mediterranean respect the applicable international law.”

After signing the declaration, the leaders addressed the press before going to dinner to continue discussions privately.


Source: medNews


In a recent encounter with the press, Serge Lafon, executive vice-president for Africa, India, Middle East, China, Eastern Asia and Australia of Michelin, explained the approach that the company has adopted for the African continent.

With regards to Africa, Lafon mentioned that “segments are expanding fast so even our activity will increase, also through M&A activities. In the B2B we are developing solutions ourselves. If Europe is our home, Asia is the growing market and on top of that there is a strong industry network. In Africa, which in our structure is together with the Middle East, we have a development strategy based on clusters. One will include Morocco and Algeria. That portion of Africa is expanding in terms of infrastructure and industry and we will tackle that market. IN Eastern Africa, mainly Kenya and Tanzania, we will support the infrastructural and agricultural part. The biggest challenge in Africa is political stability, which is not granted, as well as safety. Of course, business also helps stability”.


With reference to the EU new Marshall plan for Africa to generate green investment in Africa, Borrut said that Michelin will contribute on two main areas. With regards to electric vehicles, it will be in the cities because the battery does not yet ensure long distances, for which Michelin will work on developing  hydrogen-based solutions.



Source: medNews


The Labour Party in Government won the local council elections by a majority of 47,116. While the Labour Party of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat obtained 150,514 votes or 57.96%; the Nationalist Party led by Adrian Delia obtained 103,398 or 39.82%. The other parties and independent candidates got 5,762 or 2.22% of the electorate.

459 councilors were elected in these elections; 268 on behalf of the Labour Party, 192 on the Nationalist ticket, two independent candidates and another two on behalf of Gharb First in Gozo.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Leader of the Labour Party in a tweet thanked all voters and candidates for the resounding 58% success in the local elections exceeding the europarliamentary elections result of last week. Muscat said he is thrilled at the resounding success of young, talented women elected on the Labour Party ticket.

This electoral defeat fueled more calls for the resignation of Adrain Delia from Leader of the Nationalist Party and for the resignation of the top officials.

After three days of counting, the Labour Party won the majority in 47 localities and the Nationalist Party obtained the majority in 19 localities including the old city of Mdina where no election took place because there were only 5 candidates contesting the election; the exact amount of candidates needed to form the new local council.

The Labour Party won the Mosta Local Council, Siggiewi, Valletta, St Paul’s Bay and San Gwann from the Nationalist Party. The Nationalist Party won the Munxar Local Council from the Labour Party.

273 780, or 63.1% voted in these elections from those who were registered to vote.There were 14,106 or 5.2% Invalid votes.


Source: medNews


The Libyan Prime Minister Fajez al-Sarraj paid an unexpected visit to Malta where he had a meeting with the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Both sides discussed the situation in Tripoli and the negative impact that the fighting is having on the Libyan people. This was the second visit of Fajez al-Sarraj this year after another visit to Malta last January.

Fajez al-Sarraj government is recognized by the United Nations.  During the discussions with the Maltese government, said he discussed the present situation in Libya, and expressed the hope that the Maltese Government assists him to overcome the challenges facing his country.

Prime Minister Muscat said that the Maltese Government considers the Libyan people as a friend and promised that the government will always be there to assist the Libyan people.  Muscat confirmed his willingness to discuss ways the Maltese Government can help to restore peace and prosperity in Libya.

The President of Malta George Vella has already expressed his grave concern at the unfolding situation in Libya. Last April, few days after he took office, Vella said the situation in Libya shows the hypocrisy of the international community for not taking a decisive action as fighting engulfs Libya. While he referred to the high number of casualties, Vella appealed to a political solution in order to safeguard the best interest of the Libyan people and to avoid a human disaster.

General commander Khalifa Haftar who leads the Libyan National Army, based in Eastern Libya is refusing to stop military attacks on Tripoli and is accused by the United Nations of looking to divide Libya. The attacks on Tripoli began in April and General Haftar is looking to gain control of the Libyan capital. By now, it is estimated that over 500 people and 75,000 civilians fled their homes because of the fighting.


Source: medNews

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