24 May 2007 07:00 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--These were the top stories at 06:00 GMT in the following European newspapers’ online versions on Thursday. To go to the individual websites, click the links below:?xml:namespace>
Sarkozy to champion Europe in trade talks
Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, warned the world on Wednesday night that he expected Europe to take a much tougher stance in global trade talks and would not allow his country’s farmers to be sold “at the lowest possible price”.
Mr Sarkozy, on his first presidential visit to Brussels, called on Europe to “protect” its citizens, buying them time to adapt to the pressures of globalisation.
Fillon to rethink merging GdF with Suez
France’s newly appointed government said on Wednesday it might rethink plans to create a new European energy champion through the merger of state-controlled Gaz de France with Suez, the quoted French utility.
Prime Minister François Fillon, speaking on Europe 1 radio, said on Wednesday that while the idea remained valid, “there are other options we can consider”. Mr Fillon promised a decision would be taken by the beginning of July.
Companies and markets
Egg heads relish taste of Garlik
Mike Harris and Tom Ilube were executives at a pioneering online bank. Mr Harris proved he was great at marketing by creating a buzz around the brand and recruiting 3m customers. Mr Ilube showed he was a great technologist, managing 500 staff and 2,000 servers that provided secure online banking 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Nothing minor about the Morris legacy
For a while at university I lived in Longwall Street, Oxford. A few doors along was the first workshop of a man originally known as William Morris – later Lord Nuffield. He is not so celebrated now, but in his heyday he was hailed as Britain’s greatest motor entrepreneur and its most generous philanthropist. We need more like him now – characters who build something from scratch, invent whole industries and do real good.
US-China economic talks end with limited steps on opening Chinese markets
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. and a team of cabinet members concluded two days of talks with Chinese leaders Wednesday with an announcement of limited steps to open Chinese markets. But the measures appeared unlikely to impress critics of Chinese economic practices in the US Congress.
Blocked by US, China finds it own way to space
For years, China has chafed at efforts by the United States to exclude it from full membership in the world's elite space club. So, lately, China seems to have hit on a solution: create a new club.
Beijing is trying to position itself as a space benefactor to the developing world - the same countries, in some cases, whose natural resources China covets here on Earth. The latest, and most prominent, example came last week when China launched a communications satellite for Nigeria in a project that serves as a tidy case study of how space has become another arena where China is trying to exert its soft power.
US biofuel push seen lifting gasoline prices
Gasoline prices are spiking again - to a record, adjusted for inflation, of more than $3 a gallon in most parts of the United States and close to $4 a gallon in others.
While Europeans are long used to far higher gasoline prices because of taxes, the US price spike appears to be prompted by short-term market forces. Many oil companies are doing maintenance work on refineries; new US rules make fuels cleaner but costlier; and a string of delays, fires and accidents have reduced supplies just when drivers are starting to hit the road for summer vacations.
Europe's energy giants call for business as usual with Russia
Europe's three largest gas companies called Wednesday for greater political support for increased business ties with the Russian energy giant Gazprom, saying growing tensions between Moscow and the European Union should not be allowed to jeopardize energy security.
TNK-BP Fights for Kovykta License
TNK-BP will defend its right to develop the Kovykta gas field in east Siberia at an Irkutsk court next week, officials said Wednesday, as the British-Russian firm appeared to move closer to resolving a years-long standoff over Gazprom's entry into the project.
The opening hearing, scheduled for Monday, marks the first concrete attempt by TNK-BP to hold on to its license amid accusations by state officials that it has failed to fulfill production quotas.
Putin Courts an Unwavering Austria
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday praised Austria as a model partner for energy exports but failed to gain support for Moscow in its tussles with the European Union.
Less than a week after a Russia-EU summit ended in disagreement over Russian democracy and its touchy relations with Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, Austrian President Heinz Fischer told Putin that Austria would not differ from the EU line.
Norilsk Tops Xstrata's LionOre Offer
Norilsk Nickel increased its bid for Canadian miner LionOre to Canadian dollar (C$) 6.8bn ($6.3bn, €4.7bn) Wednesday, raising the stakes in its battle for the firm with Xstrata.
Norilsk's revised bid of C$27.50 per share was 10% higher than a rival offer from Xstrata on 15 May, which had valued the world's 10th-largest nickel miner at C$6.2bn, or $25 per share.
Sotheby's Plans Are Still a Blank Canvas
Sotheby's began a modest foray into Russia's flourishing art market with the opening of its Moscow office on Wednesday.
But the auction house tamped down expectations that it would be organising art sales in Russia anytime soon.
Trading Civil War for Small-Town Sweden
As sectarian violence in Iraq continues to rage, the numbers of those fleeing the country this year is skyrocketing. Many find refuge in neighbouring countries, but more and more are trying their luck in Europe. Sweden is the only country listening.
The Scent of Terror
In a reminder of methods used by the East German Stasi secret police, German authorities are collecting human scents to trace activists they believe may try to violently disrupt the G8 summit in June. It's proving highly controversial, and there's no scientific evidence that the method is infallible.
Dismissal of Baser reveals power struggles in Ankara
The AKP and in particular Abdullah Gul got nervous with Baser's remarks on the presidential elections, defining Gül as disloyal to the republic
Leftists to the right, rightists to the left
As the deadline for applications to run for the upcoming general elections drew to a close yesterday, it came to the fore that political parties in Turkey will not give up presenting candidates that just act as showcases to their electorate. One important difference in this year's elections is that parties both on the left and right intend to nominate famous figures from rival camps.
Business and finance
A call for Turkish SMEs to unite
More than half of the 44,082 export companies in Turkey are Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs), which earned an average of $30,000 in exporting for 2006. Head of the Turkish Foundation for Small and Medium Business (TOSYOV) Hilmi Develi calls upon all SMEs to unite.
Russia to sell natural gas directly to Turkey
Russian gas monopoly Gazprom will sell up to 750m cubic metres of natural gas per year to Turkish consumers under a deal signed with a Turkish energy group Tuesday, Gazprom said.
"According to the agreement reached, Gazprom has the possibility of directly supplying 750m of cubic meters of Russian gas to Turkey every year until 2021," state-run Gazprom said in a statement.
Rapid growth slows, but GDP continues to improve
Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak said on Wednesday that months of rapid growth are gone, but the situation for 2007 as a whole will be quite favourable regardless, with the GDP growth estimated at 6.1%.
Comarch wins zloty 3.8m ($1.3m, €1.0m) e-PUAP tender
The Kraków-based IT company Comarch has won the development and implementation tender for the recently announced Electronic Platform for Public Administration Services (e-PUAP).
Another record year for KP
Brewer Kompania Piwowarska (KP), the producer of Tyskie, Lech and Żubr beer, posted a net profit of zloty 693m in the 2006 financial year which ended in March.
Drawing attention to the east
PAIiIZ hopes to attract investors to Poland's eastern voivodships with its new promotional campaign
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