Darren's Feed
Dec 14, 2009

EU ends banana war with Latin America-diplomats

BRUSSELS, Dec 14 (Reuters) – The European Union reached
agreement on Monday to put an end to a decades-long trade
dispute with Latin American and other smaller producers over
tariffs on banana imports, diplomats said.

“Everybody is finally on board and an initialling of the
deal is scheduled for Tuesday,” one diplomat with direct
knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters.

Dec 8, 2009

EU decision on Iceland bid delayed until March

BRUSSELS, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Iceland must wait until March to
formally launch negotiations to join the European Union because
recommendations on its application have not yet been finalised,
diplomats said on Tuesday.

Reykjavik had hoped to get approval from EU leaders at a
summit on Thursday to formally launch accession talks with the
27-nation bloc, but a delay in appointing a new European
Commission — the executive that steers EU enlargement policy —
has stalled the process, the diplomats said.

Dec 4, 2009

End to WTO “banana wars” days away – diplomats

BRUSSELS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – A deal to end the world’s
longest-running trade dispute over import tariffs on bananas is
virtually complete, but a final agreement may not be reached
until next week, diplomats involved in the talks said on Friday.

The European Union and Latin America had hoped to wrap up a
deal on Friday to end the 16-year-old “banana wars”. An
agreement would also need the endorsement of African, Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) countries and the United States.

Dec 3, 2009

End to 16-yr WTO banana wars seen Friday-diplomats

GENEVA/BRUSSELS, Dec 2 (Reuters) – A deal to end the world’s
longest running trade dispute over import tariffs on bananas is
expected to be signed on Friday between the European Union and
Latin American countries, diplomats involved in the talks said.

The deal to end the 16 year-old “banana wars” — which also
includes African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) and the
United States — will cut the tariff paid on bananas from Latin
America and shield the European Union from further legal action
at the WTO, which has condemned its import regime.

Nov 27, 2009

EU names new leadership team to boost economy

BRUSSELS, Nov 27 (Reuters) – European Commission President
Jose Manuel Barroso unveiled the EU executive’s new line-up on
Friday, handing Finn Olli Rehn a key role overseeing monetary
affairs as part of efforts to revive the European Union economy.

Rehn takes over from Spaniard Joaquin Almunia, who will
become competition commissioner in the 27-country bloc’s
executive. France’s Michel Barnier was named internal market
commissioner with responsibility for financial services.

Nov 20, 2009

EU names Belgian PM Van Rompuy as first president

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders named Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, who is little known outside his own country, as the bloc’s first president on Thursday to lead efforts to make it more influential on the world stage.

They also chose Baroness Catherine Ashton, a Briton little known even in her own country, as EU foreign affairs chief under a deal that kept out more established figures such as Tony Blair, and raised questions about how the bloc plans to lift its profile.

Nov 20, 2009

EU backs consensus over egos for top jobs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – In a surprisingly quick compromise, European Union leaders have named Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton as EU president and foreign policy chief.

Such a deal is a vote for low-key consensus builders over big-name personalities and means that while European decision-making may become more streamlined, the EU will still struggle to punch its weight in international diplomacy.

Nov 13, 2009
via Reuters Soccer Blog

Ireland may come to regret Reid freeze-out


Giovanni Trapattoni may have cause to regret his decision to leave Sunderland playmaker Andy Reid out in the cold when Ireland face France on Saturday and next Wednesday in their two-legged World Cup play-off.Reid has been in sparkling form for his club this season in the Premier League, notching some fantastic goals, notably from free-kicks — an area Ireland need to improve on with the exception of Glenn Whelan’s thunderbolts from long range.He has a range of passing that can unlock the best defences in the world and Ireland will need somebody with that capability against the more-fancied French at Croke Park and Stade de France over the next week.But the Dubliner has been overlooked by Trapattoni ever since he fell out with the wily, no-nonsense Italian a year ago in the team’s hotel bar in the German city of Wiesbaden after Ireland’s qualifier with Georgia.Reid has apologised profusely for failing to go to bed before a 2am curfew and, unlike, say, Manchester City’s Stephen Ireland, he has reiterated on many occasions his commitment to play for his country.But while Trapattoni and his backroom team continue to court Ireland, Reid remains in exile. Of course with a lack of creativity in Ireland’s central midfield, Ireland would be a welcome addition, but surely his absence only reinforces the need for Reid’s recall?The former Tottenham player has knuckled down since his move to the north east of England, lost lots of weight, looks fitter than ever, and has become one of the most improved players in the best league in the world.Is it time Trapattoni swallowed his pride?PHOTO: France team soccer coach Raymond Domenech (R) and captain Thierry Henry hold a news conference upon their arrival in Dublin November 13, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Oct 19, 2009

Sri Lanka faces loss of EU trade perks over rights

BRUSSELS, Oct 19 (Reuters) – A European Union investigation
has found Sri Lanka in breach of international human rights laws
and EU sources said the country is likely to lose concessions
worth more than $100 million for its top exports to Europe.

The EU on Monday published the findings of the investigation
it launched a year ago into allegations of human rights
violations and torture in the 25-year war between the Sri Lankan
government and Tamil Tiger rebels.