European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Jul 25, 2013

Irish watchdog won’t probe U.S. firms over Prism

VIENNA, July 25 (Reuters) – A watchdog in Ireland, home to
the European headquarters of Apple and Facebook,
says it will not investigate them for transferring personal data
to a U.S. spy agency because they have signed up to EU privacy
principles.

The Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC),
had been challenged by an Austrian student activist group to
investigate allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency
harvests emails and other private data from the companies in a
mass electronic surveillance programme known as Prism.

Jun 26, 2013

TAP to carry Azeri gas via Greece as Austria loses out

VIENNA/LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – The group developing
Azerbaijan’s vast gas reserves has chosen the Trans Adriatic
Pipeline (TAP) via Greece to link to Europe, officials said on
Wednesday, defeating the Nabucco West consortium which had
backed a route to Austria.

The project, first envisioned more than a decade ago, is
part of a European Union push for alternatives to Russian gas
imports and is expected to start flowing in 2019.

Jun 26, 2013

Political will and big spending put Austrians to work

VIENNA, June 26 (Reuters) – Sebastian Liedl is 17, and in
half a year will be a fully qualified employee at the Austrian
steel group Voestalpine, where he can look forward to
a starting monthly wage of about 2,000 euros ($2,600).

Unlike his contemporaries in Greece, Spain or Portugal,
Liedl has never feared unemployment. He always knew he wanted to
follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather at Voest,
where he is part of an extensive apprenticeship programme.

Jun 12, 2013

Verbund takes 1 bln euros writedown as power prices fall

VIENNA, June 12 (Reuters) – Austrian hydropower firm Verbund
said it would write down its assets by 1.13 billion
euros ($1.5 billion) and cut investments again as electricity
markets deteriorated sharply.

Verbund said it expected 2013 earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.15 billion euros, up
from its previous estimate of 1 billion, due to cash inflows and
non-recurring effects from an asset swap with E.ON.

Jun 7, 2013

U.S. surveillance revelations deepen European fears of Web giants

VIENNA/BRUSSELS, June 7 (Reuters) – Europeans reacted
angrily on Friday to revelations that U.S. authorities had
tapped the servers of Internet companies for personal data,
saying such activity confirmed their worst fears about American
Web giants’ reach and showed tighter regulations were needed.

The Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers aroused
broad outrage with reports that the National Security Agency
(NSA) and the FBI had accessed central servers of Google
, Facebook and other big Internet companies and
gathered millions of phone users’ data.

Jun 7, 2013

U.S. surveillance revelations deepen European fears

VIENNA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europeans reacted angrily on Friday to revelations that U.S. authorities had tapped the servers of internet companies for personal data, saying they confirmed their worst fears about American Web giants and showed tighter regulations were needed.

The Washington Post and the Guardian aroused outrage with reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) and FBI had accessed central servers of Google, Facebook and others and gathered millions of phone users’ data.

May 28, 2013

Russian gas pipeline could doom Europe’s Nabucco plan

VIENNA/BRUSSELS, May 28 (Reuters) – Europe’s grand plan for
a gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea that would make its eastern
states less reliant on Russia may have been fatally undermined
by Russia’s even bigger project.

As Azerbaijan nears a decision on which pipeline to choose
for its future exports, the Nabucco plan that was long the
European Union favourite could lose out to the more modest Trans
Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) across Greece to southern Italy.

May 24, 2013

Raiffeisen CEO quits over offshore deals

VIENNA (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International (RBIV.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Herbert Stepic resigned on Friday in what he called an effort to spare his bank from negative publicity over personal property deals that triggered scrutiny by the lender and regulators.

Stepic, 66, again denied wrongdoing in using front companies in the Caribbean and Asia to buy flats in Singapore in 2006 and 2008 – deals exposed by the Offshore Leaks investigative journalism project – but said he decided to quit out of loyalty to Raiffeisen.

May 24, 2013

Raiffeisen CEO offers to quit as offshore deals probed

VIENNA, May 24 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International’s
Chief Executive Herbert Stepic offered to resign after
authorities said they would investigate personal offshore
property deals he made.

Stepic, 66, was named as having made use of front companies
in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’
Offshore Leaks project, a campaign to expose the owners of
trusts in tax havens. He has denied wrongdoing.

May 16, 2013

Austria misses EU deadline to sell Kommunalkredit

VIENNA, May 16 (Reuters) – Austria’s Kommunalkredit
could still be sold and does not need to be wound
down, the country’s market watchdog said on Thursday after
Vienna missed an EU privatisation deadline for the lender.

The sale of Kommunalkredit, a public-sector finance
specialist nationalised in 2008, was required under the terms of
Austria’s bailout. Its failure adds to the country’s problems
with the European Commission, which is already questioning state
aid to another Austrian bank.

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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