CrisisWatch

Issue 10, December 2012

Mining and hydrocarbon rush infect crisis-hit states

As PIGS are fast-tracking approval procedures for all kinds of investments, resource extraction (primarily gold mining and hydrocarbon exploration in sensitive marine areas) is promoted as the spearhead in the effort of economically troubled states to revive their battered economies.  Amidst local protests and demonstrations of thousands against the approval of gold mining operations in Chalkidiki, another investment is in the pipeline. In Evro...
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December 2012 editorial

The bitter debates and the collapse of the latest EU Summit on the 2014-2020 budget were indicative of the dire straits that Europe is going through. As European leaders are focused on avoiding further economic disarray, the financial crisis has become a convenient excuse for a continuous and unprecedented rollback in EU environmental policies. The failure to stand up for a vital global climate policy shift at the Doha COP18 is a reminder that th...
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Euro-parliament approves cooperation on FTT

By an overwhelming majority of 533 in favour to 91 against (and 32 abstentions), the European Parliament approved the plan of 11 Eurozone member states for enhanced cooperation, with the aim of establishing a tax on financial transactions. As stated during the deliberations by rapporteur Anni Podimata (S&D, EL), whose resolution was adopted, “[t]his is a reward for Parliament, which has been calling for an FTT for over two years.  It wil...
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Another blow for Greece’s Green Fund

In the context of a new urgent act of legal content, the Greek Government introduced a further reduction to the allowable expenditure, which now cannot exceed the 2.5% of its total deposits. The Green Fund sits on approx. €1,2 billion, collected and legally bound for urban environmental improvement, nature conservation, forest management and energy efficiency. According to its constitutional law 3855/2010, the Green Fund can also function as a...
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Italian government bypasses court order for closure of polluting factory

In two consecutive decisions, Italian courts ordered in August the closure of the largest steel factory in the EU: Ilva of Taranto. The local magistrate described Ilva as an “environmental disaster”, due to its high emissions of a lethal mix of pollutants into the atmosphere. In the course of one of the country’s major environmental scandals, seven top managers of the Ilva Taranto plant were arrested, on charges of serious environmental da...
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Pressures grow for relaxation of EU environmental law

At the latest Competitiveness Council (10 and 11 December 2012) EU ministers discussed the need for revision of the common industrial policy. In the shadow of the economic recession and its impact on industry, voices calling for relaxation of the legislation relating particularly to environmental impact assessments and permitting  procedures. According to Portugal’s Minister of Economy and Employment Álvaro Santos Pereira, “we can't be naï...
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Policy highlights, December 2012

OECD: Southeast Asian Economic Outlook 2013 – with perspectives on China and India (18 November 2012) COUNCIL OF THE EU: Greece granted two more years to correct its excessive deficit (4 December 2012) COUNCIL OF THE EU: Council closes excessive deficit procedure for Malta (4 December 2012)...
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Media-Web, December 2012

A way to fill the Green Climate Fund, by Natalia Alonso, Tony Long and Jorgo Riss | European Voice (3 December 2012) Action plan for environment in 2012-20 strikes downbeat note | European Voice (29 November 2012) China's economy to overtake US in next four years, says OECD  | The Guardian (9 November 2012)...
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