Tag Archives: Top News


The Algerian Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security, Mourad Zemali, has evoked the imbalances affecting the Algerian National Pension Fund (CNR), stating that without the intervention of the Government, which has transferred 500 billion dinar to the CNR, pensioners were not able to collect their pension in the last two months. Zemali has specified that the expenses of the CNR are estimated at 1200 billion dinars while the contributions do not exceed 600 billion dinars, with a deficit of 50%. The Minister complains that the annual evolution of the rate of social security contributions is only 2%. The deficit is due to the failure to submit the declaration or submission or a reduced declaration of employees by employers. The Director General of Social Security at the Algerian Ministry of Labor, Djaouad Bourkaib, admitted that if all the Social Security departments are currently “in equilibrium”, those of the pension go through financial difficulties. Explaining this situation with a “world trend” characterized by a difficult economic situation, demographic change and a higher probability of life, Bourkaib said that in the face of the deficit in this sector, the Government established “the grant of exceptional balance” and the contribution of solidarity levied for 1% on imports of goods.


Source: medNews


The ministerial committee for privatization approved the privatization of Israel Post. Under the scheme presented by the Authority for Governmental Companies, 20% of the shares will initially be auctioned to an Israeli or foreign strategic investor. This was announced by the Globes business newspaper. In the second phase, after two years, an additional 20% of the shares will be offered to the public, and Israel Post will become a public company listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. The offer will help the company to become transparent, efficient and profitable in the long run. However, the participation of the state in the company will not fall below 60%. Private investors who buy shares in the initial privatization phase will be guaranteed preferential rights. An agreement will be signed between the state and the buyer that grants the latter a say over the selection of the CEO. The buyer agrees to maintain his participation in the company for seven years. The proposal includes the possibility of selling to the public 40% of the company in the event that the sale to a private investor does not materialize.

The president of Israel Post, Hezi Zaieg, said: “We welcome the great confidence that has been given to us by the ministerial committee, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and Labor, the Ministry of Communications and the Administration of government companies From the signing of the collective agreement with employees in 2015, which defined the road to privatization, we have worked tirelessly to improve our service and improve the financial performance of the company. In the last three years we proved that Israel Post has moved from an organization that delivers letters to a logistics giant with a substantial presence in the online trading market, providing services to international trading platforms”.

Source: medNews


National Geographic has included Lebanon on its list of the best summer trips in 2018, particularly due to its food and beverages.

“Often overlooked as a culinary destination, Lebanon crafts the ideal summer mezze table in an equally ideal temperate climate”, said National Geographic.

In 2016, Travel and Leisure ranked Beirut as the best international city for food.

“Selecting the country as one of the best summer trips will boost tourism to a large extent, and will attract more Europeans,” said Wadih Kenaan, Secretary General of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners. The delicious and varied local cuisine is one of the top attributes that attract tourists, said Kenaan.

The number of European tourists is increasing, with 565,000 visiting Lebanon last year. 

Besides the delicious food, the country boasts several touristic destinations, such as the open air markets of Byblos, one of the world’s oldest cities, and the Baatara Gorge Waterfall in Tannourine, National Geographic said. The country is full of history, with several cultural and religious sites. The magazine declared that Lebanon is one of the world’s oldest countries last year.

The Ministry of Tourism and the private sector’s efforts to promote the country abroad are paying off, Kenaan said. Videos promoting the country, shared on social media, also boost tourism. 

“Sometimes tourists ask hotel staff how to visit locations that they saw on social media”, he said.



Source: medNews


The 234 migrants on board the MV Lifeline will be distributed among eight European Union member states. This was confirmed by the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat while addressing a press conference in Valletta. The countries are Malta, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal. The agreement was reached last Sunday during an informal summit in Brussels.

The Maltese Prime Minister said that the number of migrants to be taken by the eight European countries will be determined once all investigations were done, including the right to apply for asylum. Those who would not qualify for protection, will be send to their country of origin with the assistance of EU institutions.

The MV Lifeline is expected to arrive in Malta late this evening. The Prime Minister of Malta confirmed that the Maltese authorities will also investigate the crew on board and the vessel will be impounded after the ship’s captain ignored orders from the Maltese and Italian authorities to hand over the migrants to the Libyan coast guards. The Maltese Prime Minister said that the ship should not have been involved in sea rescues because the MV Lifeline is registered as a pleasure boat.

Joseph Muscat said that despite Malta having no legal obligation or responsibility in this matter and despite the fact that events took place in the Libyan Search and Rescue Area between Libya and Lampedusa – where it was neither the competent nor the coordinating authority – the Maltese government took the lead to seek a two-facet solution before the situation escalated to a humanitarian crisis.


Source: medNews


From Beirut to Tangier, from Venice to Tripoli, the Mediterranean has returned to the center of history. A social laboratory that includes 26 countries with a population that in 2050 will be 650 million people, triple the 214 million in 1950. Stopping the boats of desperate people is a political solution. Intervening to improve the social entrepreneurship of this area is an opportunity, in which Italy already excels. Since 2012, the Crt Foundation of Turin and the United Nations Agency for Industrial Development (Unido) have in fact developed the Entrepreneurs for Social Change (E4SC) program, which through an international selection forms and supports 25 under 35 social entrepreneurs in their countries of origin.

The call for the 2018 edition will close on July 1st, and is open to all 26 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area. At the center of the program the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which include food security, water management, waste treatment, access to clean energy systems, quality education, fight against climate change, promotion of a dignified employment for all. In six years the Entrepreneurs for Social Change program has selected over 2,000 applications and trained 85 social entrepreneurs.

Among the winners of 2017 is the Alep Studio of the Syrian architect Yanal Wattar, who aims to grow startups and innovative companies in his country. The Egyptian Alyaa Nour Abdelgawad, on the other hand, founded Jereed, which converts waste wood palms with low environmental impact. The Tunisian Ayadi Radhouan with his Biofire focused on alternative energy sources. The Italian Danilo Mirabile founded Beentouch, which aims to improve the communication possibilities between inhabitants of the areas with low quality internet connections and low performance devices.

As in previous years, the winners of the 2018 call will participate in ten days of intensive training in Turin next October, through a unique learning experience, rooted in the values of peer exchange and the construction of a community. Subsequently, and for a year, the 25 participants will be provided with the most effective tools to open or expand their business through experts and tutors at various levels. Focus on training, oriented not only to technology, but also to personal growth, through social business, fundraising, marketing, leadership and intercultural dialogue.

In addition to developing their businesses, real ambassadors and promoters of positive change are formed, combating the set of factors that are also at the root of the migratory waves and social tensions in the Euro-Mediterranean area. A mission that belongs to the rich countries of the Mediterranean to develop. “Millennials want to be protagonists of change and want to create sustainable and decent jobs for themselves and for other young people. With Entrepreneurs for Social Change, Unido provides them with the right platform to succeed”, explains Unido’s director of Agri-Business’s department, Dejene Tezera. “It is our duty to train a new generation of entrepreneurs able to interface with colleagues all over the world, looking at the Sustainable Development Goals as a compass”, adds the president of EFC-European Foundation Center and general secretary of the Crt Foundation, Massimo Lapucci.



Source: medNews


Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela was hosted at the Italian Foreign Ministry by his counterpart Minister Enzo Moaveri Milanesi. The two ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to intensify the excellent and historical bilateral ties on various levels between the two countries. They underscored the opportunities for the further strengthening of such relations, in particular with regard to close coordination in the field of migration, both on a bilateral and well as a European level, in the context of the revision of the Dublin Regulation.Malta and Italy also reaffirmed their common will to deepen collaboration on matters of mutual and longstanding interest.


Source: medNews


The diplomatic standoff between Malta and Italy on migration escalated and has worsened in the last hours as the Maltese government has accused the Italian authorities of creating a dangerous situation for the 629 migrants stranded on the vessel Aquarius. Amongst the rescued there are 123 unaccompanied minors, 11 children and seven pregnant women.

The Maltese government also showed concerns at the Italian authorities’ directions given to the crew aboard Aquarius and insisted these go against the international rules. The ship is now some 27 miles east of Malta.

In a telephone communication with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat reiterated that Malta will not take the said vessel in its ports. Muscat insisted that his government is acting in full conformity with its international obligations.

The Maltese Premier said that without prejudice to its position, and in conformity with its policy throughout the past years, Malta has always been willing, where possible, to carry out emergency medical evacuations of persons requiring urgent medical care for humanitarian reasons.

The migrants were rescued by various vessels in the Libyan rescue zone and then transferred to the Aquarius. The Italian island of Lampedusa was the closest port of the rescue area, but the newly-elected right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini declared all the Italian ports closed and demanded Malta to take the migrants.


Source: medNews


A study conducted by the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (OADA) has revealed that the dates sector in Tunisia will face, during the next decade, several internal challenges including essentially an excess of production on the local market, in addition to overlap of the date collection period with the month of Ramadan of the year 2025. Among the external challenges of the date chain, the study mentions the self-sufficiency of the Moroccan market that has imported half of its demand from Tunisia. Tunisia will lose its position on the Moroccan market, as Morocco prepares to plant one million palm trees under the “Green Morocco” program, the study said, adding that Morocco aims to achieve self-sufficiency by 2025. The competition of the Algerian dates (Deglet Nour) is another challenge that Tunisia faces, especially since the date production of Algerian has accelerated the growth to reach, in 2014, 850 thousand tons, against 427 thousand tons in 1999.

In addition, imports from the European market are stagnant (Tunisia occupies 37% of the European market). The same study found that the Indian market imports 36% of its dates needs from Tunisia, while Tunisia’s share of the Asian market does not exceed 3%. He also revealed that the production chain of dates in Tunisia is facing structural problems in production: fragmentation of ownership, production based on the Nour deglet variety and aging of over one million palm trees. The study then addresses the problems of the continuous increase in production costs and the difficulties hampering agricultural mechanization within the old oases. It is also the weakness of the financial resources of small farmers, the rate of supervision, the lack of guidelines in the field and technical references to new technologies in addition to the abuse of natural resources. The document recommends the establishment of an action program to improve production, productivity and quality. The authors of the study call on farmers to join agricultural service cooperatives and adopt agricultural mechanization to control production costs, as well as the diversification of early varieties that can easily be sold on the domestic market. As far as quality improvement is concerned, the document requires greater value for the product by granting quality standards (organic and geographical production). It should be remembered that Tunisia currently has 6 million palm trees that produce 62% of the “deglet nour” variety and 38% of other varieties and average production has reached 201 thousand tons in the last decade.

Source: medNews


Italy was the main source of industrial equipment and machinery imports with $ 4.5m and accounted for 23.8% of the total covered month, followed by Germany with $ 4.3m (22.7%) and China with $ 3.1m (16.8%). The total of imports of industrial equipment and machinery reached $ 42.8m in the first two months of 2018, up by 35% from $ 31.7m in the same period of 2017. Italy was the main source of such imports and accounted for 27.7% of the total in the first two months of 2018, followed by Germany with 21.3% and China with 15.1%. Further, imports of industrial equipment and machinery amounted to $ 18.8m in February 2018, up by 75.6% from $ 10.7m in the same month of 2017. 

Figures released by the Ministry of Industry show that industrial exports totaled $ 390.4m in the first two months of 2018, constituting an increase of 4.7% from $ 372.7m in the same period of 2017. Industrial exports reached $203.4 in February 2018, up by 8.8% from $ 187m in the preceding month, and by 3.4% from $ 196.8m in February 2017.

On a country basis, Saudi Arabia was the main destination of Lebanese industrial exports and accounted for 8.3% of the total in the covered period, followed by Turkey with 8.2%, the UAE with 7.5%, Iraq with 7% , Syria with 5.4% and Qatar with 5.2%. In February 2018, 10 Arab States, 10 European economies, seven African countries, five Asian economics, three countries in the Americas and one country in Oceania imported $ 1m or more each of Lebanese industrial products.


Source: medNews


In the period January-April 2018 the number of tourists in Israel was 1.36 million, 25% more than the same period last year. The Ministry of Tourism expects to increase their numbers this year thanks to large-scale marketing efforts, but the current security threat is now casting a shadow over this optimism, because the tourism sector will be the first to suffer the effects negative with tourists who could reschedule their holidays, and there are concerns that the record of 3.6 million visitors last year will not be exceeded. This was announced by the Globes business newspaper.

Only in April 2018 (when the Jewish, Catholic and Orthodox holidays fall) there were 408,000 arrivals, 17% more than in April 2017, when 350,000 people visited Israel. The Ministry of Tourism states that the revenues related to the tourism sector in April exceeded 2.1 billion shekels. The optimism of the Ministry of tourism is also linked to the momentum created by the visibility achieved thanks to the Giro d’Italia, which started this year from Jerusalem. 238,000 of the 408,000 tourists in April, more than half, came from Europe, in particular from France, Germany and the United Kingdom. As part of the preparations for the cycling race of the Giro d’Italia, the number of visitors from Italy in April was 15,000, 48% more than in April of last year. The number of tourists from the United Kingdom fell by 13% to 19,300. 105,000 tourists came from North America, including over 80,000 from the United States, 16% more than last year. 14,000 tourists came from Central and South America, 41% more than in April 2017. The number of visitors from Asian countries reached only 35,700 units, still a very low number, but 32% more than last year.

Source: medNews

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