BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s executive body is warning Poland that it has a month to address long-standing concerns about laws that Brussels fears undermines the independence of Supreme Court judges or face possible legal action. The European Commission says Poland is violating EU law by allowing the country’s Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court to make decisions which have a direct impact on judges and the way they do their jobs. The commission says the independence and impartiality of the chamber are not guaranteed, and that this can have a “chilling effect” on judges. Brussels is threatening to take the case to Europe’s top court unless Poland fixes the problem in time.
The International Monetary Fund and World Bank had been calling on the governments to provide six months of debt relief to the countries most in need, and finance ministers from the Group of Seven advanced economies agreed to do so on Tuesday providing the G20, including China and Russia, was in favor.”This is a powerful, fast-acting initiative that will do much to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of millions of the most vulnerable people,” the leaders of the IMF and World Bank said in a joint statement.The IMF on Monday approved a six month standstill on debt payments from 25 nations, mostly in Africa.The G20 officials also reiterated their commitment to deploy “available tools” to deal with the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.”Our efforts must continue and be amplified,” the communique said.Topics : The Group of 20 nations announced support Wednesday for a temporary halt to debt payments by the world’s poorest nations as they struggle to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.”We support a time-bound suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries that request forbearance,” the G20 finance ministers and central bankers said in a communique following their virtual meeting. “All bilateral official creditors will participate in this initiative.” The group, which brings together the world’s largest economies, also called on private creditors, working through the Institute of International Finance, to participate in the initiative that extends to the world’s 76 poorest countries.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram In the final straight of campaigning ahead of critical snap elections on Sunday, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday promised tax cuts and cast New Democracy as the safe choice for Greece opposite an inconsistent SYRIZA.In a speech before the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry last night, Samaras said an ND administration would gradually reduce the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 25 percent and scale back a unified property tax (ENFIA), starting with a 7 percent cut this year. He lashed out at SYRIZA for a lack of clarity on tax pledges – he claimed the leftists would impose a “barrage of taxes” despite their claims to the contrary – and slammed the party’s plans to rehire sacked civil servants and reverse privatizations.SYRIZA officials, for their part, insisted the party would introduce a fair tax system and crack down on large-scale evaders along with corruption.Meanwhile, amid speculation about potential alliances, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos told Italian newspaper La Stampa he could work with SYRIZA’s leader. “Tsipras is like Harry Potter but if necessary we will cooperate with them,” he said.Rhetoric sharpened in both the SYRIZA and New Democracy camps as the latest opinion poll, carried out by the University of Macedonia for Skai, showed the leftists widening their lead over ND to 5.5 points, garnering 33.5 percent compared to 27 percent for ND. To Potami ranks third with 7.5 percent followed by Golden Dawn and the Communist Party (KKE) with 5.5 percent each.As SYRIZA pushes its anti-austerity agenda while insisting that Greece’s position in the eurozone and solvency are not under threat, the country’s international creditors issued fresh warnings.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped Greeks would “vote responsibly” and that the principle of “solidarity in exchange for reforms” would apply, referring to the insistence of creditors that Greek authorities pursue a tough economic program in exchange for rescue loans.European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici struck a similar tone on Monday, telling a seminar at the Bruegel economic think tank that eurozone integrity is not at threat. “We don’t fear what will happen in the Greek elections on Sunday. We are prepared for all kinds of scenarios in Greece,” he said.European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, for his part, stressed that any new government in Greece “will have to respect commitments already made and stay the course of reform and fiscal responsibility.”Meanwhile the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, warned of “consequences” if European countries seek to restructure their debts – a stated priority of leftist SYRIZA. “As a principle, collective endeavors are welcome but at the same time a debt is a debt and it is a contract,” Lagarde told The Irish Times in an interview when questioned about SYRIZA’s calls for a European debt conference. “Defaulting, restructuring, changing the terms has consequences on the signature and the confidence in the signature,” Lagarde said.Source: Kathimerini
AccorHotels has announced the grouping of Travel Keys, Squarebreak and onefinestay with the intention to integrate the three companies under the onefinestay brand before the end of 2017. The portfolio will be placed under the responsibility of Javier Cedillo-Espin, who has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of onefinestay to head up the grouping of the three brands collaboratively with a team of executives from onefinestay, Travel Keys and Squarebreak.The newly appointed CEO commented, “With this new step in consolidating our leadership position, onefinestay now has a sound platform combining brand excellence, a vast and complementary offer and distribution efficiency. We are hugely excited about the global development potential for our network. Our guests are always asking for more places where they can enjoy our professional hospitality and concierge experience and the integration of these 3 innovative brands is the answer.”Through the integration of the three hospitality innovators, onefinestay guests will be able to experience over 10,000 of the world’s finest homes combined with worldwide professional hospitality and concierge services.