US-China trade war at point of no return: Washington’s demands go beyond tariffs

It seems the US-China trade conflict, if not full scale trade war, is entering the phase of no return. Nothing will be as before in the economic and otherwise relations between the two largest economies of the world. Washington appears ready to push its cause to the end, while Beijing still pretends not to understand […]

Businesses, governments and consumers to implement a more climate-friendly approach to #BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day 2018

Everyone addressed plastic pollution yesterday celebrating the UN World Environment Day which this year is hosted in New Delhi, India. The global campaign of the U.N. to create awareness and urge companies, NGO’s, communities and governments to tackle this heavy burden was highlighted on June 5 with the launch of a report from UN Environment. […]

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

  European governments and officials seem incompetent to protect on the one hand their car consumers and on the other the environment, despite the crucial role Europe played in the climate change agreement that was signed last December in Paris. VW’s diesel emissions scandal has revealed so far that the multinational framework in Europe is much more beneficial for […]

Gloomy new statistics signify no end to Eurozone’s economic misery

The economic misery of the Eurozone doesn’t seem to have an end. According to a preliminary estimate by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, GDP growth in the 19 member state monetary zone during the second quarter of this year was as miser as ever. On top of that, inflation continues to oscillate around zero, while […]

Vestager vs. Google: a fight to ensure a competitive innovation framework

The EU Consumer and Competition Day took place yesterday in Amsterdam with Margrethe Vestager to reveal her will to charge Google for exploiting consumers by pre-installing Android apps on their smartphones. European Commission (EC) is showing its teeth once again, after Microsoft antitrust case a decade ago, against giant tech companies which are finding ways […]

A Sting Exclusive: “Consumer expectations for the 2015 UN summit on climate change”, Director General of BEUC Monique Goyens outlines from Brussels

The article is exclusively Co-authored for the Sting by Mrs Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and Mrs Sylvia Maurer, Head of Sustainability and Safety in the organisation. The negative consequences of climate change are already and will increasingly be affecting consumers worldwide. We experience lower health standards due to air […]

Can ECB’s €60 billion a month save Eurozone?

The European Central Bank as from this March will start pumping into the Eurozone economy extra liquidity of €60 billion a month of freshly printed money. The details of this extraordinary policy measure will be revealed tomorrow Thursday by Mario Draghi the President of ECB, in his regular Press conference after the Governing Council meeting […]

How much more social deterioration can the EU people endure?

The Council of the European Union responsible for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer affairs couldn’t avoid recognizing that the social scenery in the EU is deteriorating fast as 26.8 million jobseekers unable to find a job and 25% of the European population at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Mind you that more than […]

How can consumers be effectively protected from insurance sellers?

Yesterday, the European Parliament voted a series of amendments on a draft update of EU rules on the information and advice offered by insurance salesmen. The Press release issued afterwards by the legislative asserts that “MEPs amended the draft rules on sales of life and non-life insurance products and services to introduce similar information requirements […]

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

Tantalizingly slow proves the tempo of Eurozone’s economic resumption, if such a thing exists at all. According to the European Commission Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN), “in January the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased by 0.5 points in the euro area (to 100.91) and by 0.9 points in the EU (to 104.7)”. […]

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

According to European Central Bank’s quarterly bank lending survey, euro area lenders responded that during the fourth quarter of 2013 they plan a marked easing of credit standards on loans to enterprises (-5% after +5%), “which is the first such a positive expectation on record since the fourth quarter of 2009”. The ECB says that […]

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

  The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI), despite a mild rise in September by 1.6 points in the euro area is still below its long-term average (100), and oscillates around the levels of the third quarter of 2010. However if it continuous on its present upwards course, it may soon recover losses of three years. In […]

Draghi reserved about Eurozone’s growth prospects

Yesterday, Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, during the Press conference following the meeting of the Governing Council, in answering a journalist’s question appeared quite reserved about Eurozone’s growth prospects. Despite the fact that ECB’s staff projections for 2013 have been revised upwards, estimates for 2014 growth potential are now downgraded. Not to […]

How Eurozone consumers spend their income when they have one…

Eurostat, the EU statistical service, presented on 30 August a statistical survey on the euro area headline inflation and its four main components. Together with it Eurostat published a valuable table showing the weight of each of the twelve items that compose the inflation index and its four main components. By the same token however […]

EU Commission expects consumer spending to unlock growth

Last Friday 23 August the European Commission released its flash estimate for the consumer confidence index of this month, finding it markedly improved in relation to July. The full Business and Consumer Survey with final data on August developments is due to be published on 30 August 2013. In detail the Commission’s Directorate-General for Economic […]

Commission: Do it like the Americans in the food sector

Only some weeks after the European Union consumers learned that they were eating low quality and contaminated with phenylbutazone horse meat, having paid for it as if it was prime quality beef, the Commission chooses to release its proposal for a new Directive, providing for less controls and higher fines and charges. The new legislation […]

Whose interests are protected by the new Mortgage Directive?

At a time when very few European consumers decide to look for a mortgage to buy a new home and the European lenders very sparingly grant such loans, the European Commission found the opportunity to launch its new initiative on a Mortgage Directive, supposedly to better protect consumers. Under the experience of the past four […]

EU Commission: Once in every 20 beef meals you eat…horse probably with drugs in it

This week the European Commission, and in order to be fair and precise, the European Commissioner Tonio Borg, tried once more to convince 500.7 million European consumers that the horsemeat and the Phenylbutazone scandal didn’t reveal any loopholes, in the EU food quality control systems. In a European Commission Press release issued at the beginning […]

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

According to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, retail trade volume in February compared with January 2013 fell by 0.3% in euro area and remained stable in the EU27. However in comparison with the same month of 2012, the drop in retail sales was much larger. In detail, in February 2013 compared with the same month […]

Inflation keeps falling in Eurozone

The downwards trend of Eurozone’s inflation rate is an infallible witness of the strong competitive base of home production on both fronts, that is manufacturing production and services. According to Eurostat, the EU statistical service, “The euro area annual inflation rate was 2.0 % in January 2013, down from 2.2 % in December 2012. A […]

The Commission breathless behind the horsemeat scandal

The horsemeat scandal is still running free all over the European Union. Yesterday, a pompously named EU Commission group entitled, “Standing Committee of the Food Chain and Animal Health” (SCoFCAH), unanimously agreed in an extraordinary meeting, that the measures proposed by Commissioner Tonio Borg are adequate to counter the health and the fraud problem related to […]

Consumers suffer three defeats

European consumers suffered three blows yesterday. After having being informed that their beef burgers contained uncontrolled horse meat and secondly that the EU is ready to allow in American GMOs and animal products with hormones, came the Commission to recognise, that safety rules in the non-food product markets are inadequate. On this last issue the […]

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

European Union consumers will be very careful with their Christmas gifts shopping lists this year, says an in-depth analysis of Wall Steer Journal’s Europe Edition, based mainly on data from a relevant survey of Deloitte LLP. With unemployment reaching unheard before levels above 25% in Greece and Spain and skyrocketing in other weak EU economies, the […]