China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

China is the first non-EU country to contribute to the Juncker Commission’s €315 billion Investment Plan. Until today only nine out of the 28 EU countries have announced their participation in this major project aimed at reviving the sluggish European economy. Beijing has not yet specified the amount to be invested in the Plan but […]

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

Remember the time you bought a new car. You normally visited it at the showroom, took it for a test drive, read the fuel consumption. Those three factors, together of course with the price of the vehicle, formed your purchase decision and selection between competition. Well, it seems that you can count on the showroom visit […]

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

The European Commission (EC) decided two days ago to conduct an investigation which will focus on the tax affairs of Apple, Starbucks and Fiat Finance and Trade in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively. Basically, EC’s purpose is to examine if the tax authorities of the aforementioned countries are in line with the rules of […]

Public opinion misled by the Commission on air transport safety

The Transport committee of the European Parliament (TRAN) blocked yesterday with 21 votes to 13 an EU Commission’s proposal to rearrange flight times for pilots and cabin crews. If the uninformed reader had only the chance to read just the Press release issued afterwards by the responsible, or rather irresponsible, Commissioner and Commission Vice President […]

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

That the German automotive industry is one of the strongest in the world is not news. Most Europeans are rather content in the idea that Europe is well represented in the fierce global automotive arena, not because we are or will ever be shareholders of Mercedes or Volkswagen, but rather because when we see an […]

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

How many of you took your stunning black Audi A6 3.0 liter for a ride on the evening of the 11th of April? Do you remember the moment you switched on the LED driving lights and you felt an unprecedented bliss thinking that you are not only rich but you are also protecting the environment? […]

Commissioner sings “Volar-e” but the European driver no “Cantar-e”

It was the last day of February when the European Commission decided to organize a pompous event to test the “amazing” performance of a new electric race car in the Formula 1 Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Its name is Volar-e and I am sure Antonio Tajani, the Commissioner responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship that […]

German banks suffer of nausea amidst rough seas

Earlier this week, Dr Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, responsible for financial stability and risk controlling, delivered an open lecture in Hamburg, entitled “In the year 2013 – Challenges from a financial stability perspective” . Apart from the burning questions he posed for a number of Eurozone countries’ sovereign debt, […]

Ship Recycling is the Commission’s Titanic

It was the symbolic date of 12/12/12 that the international NGO, Center for International Environmental Law, decided to publish a legal opinion denouncing as 100% illegal the European Commission’s proposal for a new regulation on ship recycling. This coincided with the legal analysis by the former chief counsel of the European Commission , Dr. Ludwig […]

“Private” sea freight indexes hide Libor like skeletons?

The almost three centuries old Baltic Exchange is a private and closed platform, where around 60 shipping brokers based mainly in London are contributing voluntarily their cargo prices. On the base of those contributions the Exchange publishes benchmark freight price indexes for a round number of 70 sea routes and vessel categories. The indexes are […]

European car industry: The Germans want it all

That the German cars are gas guzzlers is a fact beyond reasonable doubt, not because they are badly engineered, that they are not, but simply because they are usually powered by engines of many thousands of cm2 cylinders. Those powerful Mercedes, BMWs, Porsches, Audis and even Volkswagens produce hundreds of PSIs, but at the same time they […]

Cheap sea transport with low cost seafarers

The last Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council of the European Union dedicated to transport issues, took place in Luxemburg, towards the end of October 2012. The main item on the agenda came under the title, “Improving working and living conditions for seafarers”. Nothing is more misleading than this. Progressively it seems that the EU […]