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EU to Crack Down on Postal Rip-Offs including Austrian Post

The FT reports that Brussels is preparing a regulatory crackdown against rip-off pricing by national postal operators on cross-border parcel deliveries. According to a study, cross-border parcel deliveries are often five times more expensive than identical trips on the domestic market. While the price of a standard 2 kg parcel delivery in Austria with the national postal operator is €4.44, to have that same parcel send to neighbouring Italy would cost €14. Sending the same parcel back from Italy to Austria will rise to €25. In order to connect the common market, the EU wants to develop the potential of e-commerce and to boost cross-border trade. According to the FT, a spokeswoman of the European Commission said that early next year the Commission will “launch measures to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight” of the European parcel delivery market.

December 22, 2015

Austria Supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU Reform Agenda

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Secretary General, Linhart visited Sarajevo. EU-accession and fight against radicalization were in the centre of the talks. Linhart: “Full support for the Bosnian reform route”.

November 20, 2015

Only Full EU-Integration Can Stabilise the Western Balkans for a Lasting Time

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz commented on the European Commission’s progress reports, which were presented earlier this month: “Most of the Western Balkans countries’ progress on their way in direction of EU-membership is noticeable and positive. The Commission’s new methodology renders possible an improved analysis on the progress made in the respective countries in the last year. This creates a positive competition. The new progress reports also underscore that all candidate countries still have a lot of hard work before them and EU support towards this is essential. The current refugee crisis is no exception in this respect as it shows, how important the Western Balkans countries and Turkey are to Europe in tackling this particular challenge.”

November 18, 2015

Recommendations from the EU to Help Austria Improve Its Economic Performance

The Austrian economy has stagnated since the second quarter of 2012. Energy prices have helped lower inflation, but core inflation is stable. The labour market has performed strongly, but challenges lie ahead. Fiscal consolidation has slowed down in 2014 due to the cost borne by the government for the financial sector, which translated into higher deficit and debt ratios. Despite a solid, but moderate current account surplus, Austria has suffered a pronounced loss in world trade market shares. While the economy is free of major imbalances, maintaining competitiveness and long term growth prospects requires constant attention and consistent policy efforts. The Commission has made four country-specific recommendations to Austria to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of public finances, taxation and pensions, labour market and education, services, and the financial sector.

October 26, 2015

IAEA's Position and Road-Map Regarding Iran's Nuclear Program

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) agree, in continuation of their cooperation under the Framework for Cooperation, to accelerate and strengthen their cooperation and dialogue aimed at the resolution, by the end of 2015, of all past and present outstanding issues that have not already been resolved by the IAEA and Iran.

July 14, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal: Joint Statement by Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister

The joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif calls on the world community "to support the implementation of this historic effort". "The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a balanced deal that respects the interests of all sides. It is also complex, detailed and technical."

July 14, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal: Historic Agreement in Vienna

The so-called P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany and the EU have reached a "historic" deal with Iran on limiting Iranian nuclear activity in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions. The deal, known as the "Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action", was signed today in Vienna.

July 14, 2015

RBI: Grexit Still an Option

RBI analysts conclude in their latest risk analysis, that today’s summit agreement should not be taken as end to the risk of Grexit yet. If the agreement fails to clear the necessary parliamentary hurdles, the ECB could soon withdraw its support for Greek banks, forcing Greece out of the Euro. Even after a successful conclusion of negotiations the risk of Grexit could soon resurface: If the willingness of the Greek government to implement reforms declines again after the current pressure is reduced, todays crisis summit would be followed be new ones, whenever a new aid tranche has to be paid out.

July 13, 2015

European Forum Wachau: Political Leaders Discuss Europe's Limits

The European Forum Wachau is a European debate event and will be held this weekend at the Stift Göttweig in Lower Austria. The event was launched in 1995, the year of Austria's accession to the European Union. Participants of the conference titled “Has Europe reached its limits? Reflections on Europe’s future role on the global stage” will discuss topics such as, the EU as a security provider, the EU's new mode of regional cooperation and the EU and her neighbours.

June 12, 2015

Foreign Minister Kurz Met His British Counterpart Philip Hammond in Vienna

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond met for talks with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in Vienna - a discussion on reforms necessary to make the EU fit for the 21st century. Both foreign ministers "Agreed that EU-reform must cut regulation & support business."

June 12, 2015

George Soros: "A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine"

Soros is calling on members of the European Union to behave as countries indirectly at war with Russia and to provide Ukraine with $50 billion to defend itself and kick-start political reforms. Russian President Vladimir Putin's imperial ambition has unintentionally brought into being a new Ukraine that is adamantly opposed to endemic corruption and inefficient government. By offering assistance, Europe can foster an open society in Ukraine and protect itself from Russian aggression.

January 22, 2015

Voestalpine to Supply Linepipe Plates for the Second South Stream Pipeline

This year sees the voestalpine Group securing its third major contract in the pipeline business. Following the first, now completed, contract for the Russian-European pipeline project South Stream, and for Rota 3, a pipeline project in Brazil, voestalpine will deliver 120,000 tons of sour-gas-resistant, high-strength linepipe plates for the second South Stream pipeline by spring 2015. The South Stream contract is not affected by sanctions. Further negotiations are also currently underway concerning extremely challenging pipeline projects.

September 5, 2014

Albania Receives EU Candidate Status

At the General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg, Ministers from the EU Member States have agreed – based on the recommendation by the European Commission to grant EU candidate status to Albania, subject to endorsement by EU heads of states at the forthcoming European Council on Friday in Brussels.

June 26, 2014

Analysis: The South Stream Gas Pipeline

Due to the signing of the South Stream agreement between OMV and Gazprom for the Austrian part of the pipeline during Putin's visit to Vienna, we take a look at the background of the project.

June 25, 2014

Austria's Foreign Policy on the Western Balkans

Due to centuries of political, cultural and economic interrelations, Austrian foreign policy has always attached particular importance to the Balkans. The prime goal of Austrian foreign policy is to support the transformation of the Western Balkans into a zone of stability.

June 4, 2014

The Challenge of Turkish Migration to Austria

Two events highlight and discuss the problems and challenges of Turkish migration to Austria.

June 4, 2014

Austria: Western Balkans Representatives are Meeting in Vienna

The Western Balkans Conference and the Central European Initiative (CEI) Ministerial Meeting are currently discussing questions regarding the EU enlargement, the role of the EU as a peace project and the economic situation in the Western Balkans.

June 3, 2014

EU: Current Account with Russia Deep in the Red

EU27 current account surplus came at € 29.1 bn in the first quarter of 2013.

July 18, 2013

Ukraine: Imports from EU Grew Stronger than Exports

EU27 surplus of 9 bn euro in trade in goods with Ukraine in 2012.

February 22, 2013

Ponta to Remain as Prime Minister

Despite heavy dispute with Ponta, Romania´s President Traian Basescu announced to swear him as Prime Minister. Basescu has no other choice.

December 17, 2012

"Serbia can count on Austria to be its partner"

The Austrian State Secretary encourages Serbia to embark on pro-European course.

October 5, 2012

EU: Highest Shadow Economy in Bulgaria

A World Bank report shows that the Bulgarian economy is still dominated by illegal work. Among EU-countries, Bulgaria clearly ranks first. Austria has the lowest shadow economy.

September 14, 2012

EU Against Orange-Takeover

The Commission of the European Union does not allow Hutchison Austria to take over its competitor Orange for the time being.

September 13, 2012

Unemployment: Highest Payments for Austrians

According to the globalization fund, Austrian unemployed receive three times as much than the EU average.

September 7, 2012

Austrian Growth Above EU Average

Unlike the Eurozone, Austria faces no recession. In the Eurozone, GDP was down by 0.2%.

September 6, 2012

Slovenia: „Irish or Greek Way“

The Slovenian economist Egon Zakrajsek explains that Slovenia´s illiquidity only a question of time. The problem banks should be sold, he recommends.

September 5, 2012

Merkel Meets Austrian Government

This Friday, Germany´s Chancellor Angela Merkel will have talks with the top of the Austrian government in Vienna.

September 4, 2012

Five Potential Buyers for Kommunalkredit

Next year, the nationalized bank should be re-privatized. The sale should be finished until the end of this year.

September 4, 2012

Industrial Producer Prices Most Stable In Austria

July 2012 compared with June 2012: Industrial producer prices up by 0.4% in both euro area and EU27. In Austria, the lowest annual increase was observed.

September 4, 2012

Slovakia: Budget Deficit Reached € 2.67bn

In August, Slovakia´s budget shortfall increased to € 2.675bn from € 2.239bn in July.

September 4, 2012

Slovenia: “Danger for Austrian Banks is Limited”

Although Austria would be most affected by a Slovenian national bankruptcy, the likeliness of this scenario is rather low, analysts say.

September 3, 2012

„Europe Is Stronger than Many Think”

Austria´s Federal President Heinz Fischer thinks that the exclusion of certain member states out of the Eurozone is “highly problematic”. In two or three years, the crisis in the Eurozone is managed, he believes.

September 3, 2012

Slovenian Bankruptcy Would Hit Austria Particularly Hard

Prime Minister Janez Jansa announced that Slovenia may have to declare its national bankruptcy in October. Austria´s share in foreign direct investment made in Slovenia reaches about 50%.

September 3, 2012

Austrian Audit Court to Check Gold Reserves

According to rumours, only a small part of Austria´s gold reserves are located in Austria. The biggest part should be in London and Basel, Switzerland.

September 1, 2012

Bank Union: Austrian Banking Industry Cautious

European Forum Alpbach: In mid-September, the EU Commission will present its plans regarding the bank union. The bank union should not be implemented too fast, the Austrian Financial Market Authority says.

September 1, 2012

Next Pension Reform Ahead

European Forum Alpbach: In 2016, the next pension reform may be necessary in Austria.

September 1, 2012

EU Budget Proposal “Excessive” for Austria

EU multiannual budget 2014 – 2020 negotiated in Cyprus: Austria underlines its position as net contributor.

August 31, 2012

Austrian Unemployment Up, but Lowest in EU

In July, the Euro area unemployment rate came at 11.3%. Austria´s youth unemployment rate is the second-lowest.

August 31, 2012

“We Must Go On with a Political Union”

On the occasion of the European Forum Alpbach 2012, Anna Diamantopoulou, Former European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs calls for a completion of the European project.

August 30, 2012

Barroso: “We Must Complete Europe” (Part 2)

At the Alpbach Economic Symposium 2012, the President of the EU-Commission José Manuel Barroso explained the “logics of integration”. In order to meet new challenges, the EU has to promote integration, Barroso says.

August 30, 2012

Faymann Against Breaking Up the Eurozone (Part 2)

At the Alpbach Economic Symposium 2012, Austria´s Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann underlines the “advantages of the EU”. Without the euro, Austria would face a dramatic recession, he warns.

August 30, 2012

Barroso: “We Must Complete Europe” (Part 1)

At the Alpbach Economic Symposium 2012, the President of the EU-Commission José Manuel Barroso explained the “logic of integration”. In order to meet new challenges, the EU has to promote integration, Barroso says.

August 30, 2012

Spindelegger: “What We Need Is more Self-Confidence!”

At the Alpbach Forum 2012, Austria´s Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger explains that Europe suffers from a lack of confidence and self-confidence. The European people expect a message from the EU.

August 30, 2012

Spindelegger: “No United States of Europe”

The Austrian Vice-Chancellor wants to promote a political union in Europe. However, this system should not be the same like in the U.S.

August 30, 2012

Serbians Push Government for Reforms

The support for an EU membership has fallen below 50%. However, more Serbians call for economic and social reforms.

August 27, 2012

Austrian Guarantees Total € 80bn

In the worst case, Austria´s public debt quota may increase up to 100%, the Austrian opposition warns.

August 27, 2012

Kapsch Sees Austria´s Main Problem in Education Sector

In the last years, Austria fell behind in all competitive rankings. For the President of the Federation of Austrian Industries Georg Kapsch, education is the key factor.

August 22, 2012

Exclusion from the Eurozone: Westerwelle Supports Spindelegger

The German Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle thinks that a breach of contract should lead to the exclusion from the Eurozone.

August 22, 2012

Bulgaria Installs Debt Brake

The Bulgarian Ministry of Finance prepared a new Public Finances Act. The budget deficit must not exceed 2.0% of GDP.

August 22, 2012

Austrian Work More than EU Average

According to a report of the Germany Statistical Office, Germans and Austrians tend to work more. The relevance of leisure is shrinking.

August 20, 2012