Darren's Feed
Oct 15, 2009

EU inks S. Korea trade deal despite car firms’ anger

BRUSSELS, Oct 15 (Reuters) – The European Union and South
Korea initialled a free trade deal on Thursday despite protests
from EU car makers which fear Asian competition.

The long-awaited trade pact, which scraps nearly all import
tariffs, is potentially worth 100 billion euros ($149 billion)
to both economies and its advocates say it will help both sides
fight the worst financial crisis in decades.

Oct 7, 2009

EU Commission plans extended Asia shoe tax-sources

BRUSSELS, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The European Commission has
proposed extending anti-dumping duties on EU imports of Chinese
and Vietnamese shoes for 15 months, despite huge opposition from
member states, global brands and consumers, EU sources said.

If approved, the new duties would take effect from Jan. 3,
2010, much to the annoyance of large global footwear producers,
major European retailers and consumers across the 27-nation bloc
struggling to deal with the worst economic downturn in decades.

Oct 3, 2009

Irish voters overwhelmingly back EU reform treaty

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish voters overwhelmingly endorsed the European Union’s Lisbon reform treaty, results showed on Saturday, putting the bloc’s ambitions for greater global influence firmly back on track.

In a reversal of last year’s “No” vote, more than two-thirds of voters backed the charter, which gives the 27-country bloc a long-term president and stronger foreign policy chief.

Oct 3, 2009

Foes of EU treaty urge Czech PM not to sign it

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Opponents of the European Union’s Lisbon reform treaty urged Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Saturday not to sign the charter and to stop it going into force, even though it has been approved by Irish voters.

Irish voters overwhelmingly backed the treaty at the second time of asking in a referendum on Friday. But it cannot be implemented until it has been ratified by all 27 member states, and the signatures of two EU leaders are still missing.

Oct 3, 2009

Irish voters back EU reform treaty – officials

DUBLIN, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Irish voters have approved the
European Union’s Lisbon reform treaty, Ireland’s foreign
minister and opposition groups said on Saturday, removing an
obstacle to the EU’s ambitions to increase its global influence.

Irish approval, a year after rejecting the charter, will put
pressure on Poland and the Czech Republic to follow other EU
leaders in backing a treaty intended to make it easier for the
EU to reach decisions now that it has 27 member states.

Sep 28, 2009

EU, U.S. eye green goods tax pact in climate fight

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The European Union and the United States are holding talks on forging a pact with OECD countries and China to eliminate duties on green goods as part of incentives to Beijing in a potential global climate deal.

EU diplomats told Reuters that under a plan being discussed by Brussels and Washington, the 30 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and China would agree a global pact to phase out import tariffs on goods such as wind turbines, renewables and green technologies.

Sep 28, 2009

EU Commission to keep duty on Chinese shoes: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The European Commission is set to propose next month extending anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese-made shoes, dividing EU member states and reigniting fears of tit-for-tat trade disputes around the world.

After a 12-month probe the EU’s executive, which oversees trade policy for the bloc, is expected to propose keeping duties on Chinese shoes, but for two years instead of the normal five, diplomatic and industry sources told Reuters.

Jun 4, 2009
via Reuters Soccer Blog

Playoffs are the answer to spice up boring leagues


Forget about the 39th game. What about English Premier League playoffs to spice up the world’s most popular league and stop it becoming a boring four-horse race?
After watching the recent playoffs in the English lower leagues and witnessing the excitement surrounding the recent two-legged title decider in Belgium where I ply my trade, I reckon playoffs are the way forward for the top leagues, if not now, then possibly in the future.
Everybody loves the cup tie atmosphere, a nail-biting finale and a do or die decider.
But with the growth of the Premier League and top divisions in other countries, such as Spain and Italy, along with the popularity of the UEFA Champions League, the exhilaration of soccer seems to be dwindling.
Soccer’s governing bodies have admitted there is a real threat that the beautiful game is becoming boring.
My solution for the Premier League would be to have a four-team playoff for the title similar to that used in the Netherlands which proved successful.
This would prevent boredom should Manchester United run away with the title with a few games still to go. At the same time finishing fourth would have an added incentive for those teams battling to break into that coveted Champions League spot.
Breaking into the top four is hard enough for the likes of Everton or Aston Villa, but what about getting there and having a real chance of winning the title?
The ecstasy and heartbreak of Newcastle, Middlesborough, Sunderland and Hull on the final day shows a playoff at the bottom similar to those in the lower divisions is also more exciting than watching a club limp out of the top division weeks before the end of the season.

PHOTO: Burnley players celebrate after their English Championship playoff final victory over Sheffield United at Wembley Stadium in London May 25, 2009. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

May 13, 2009
via Reuters Soccer Blog

Will UEFA be haunted for good by Euro 2012?


Yet again I find myself asking the question: why did UEFA award Euro 2012 to Poland and Ukraine?

Questions marks have again been raised over the decision by European soccer’s governing body after it was yet again forced to set another deadline for Ukraine to meet is criteria for a number of its venues.