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FRANCE: French government wins high-risk confidence vote - by im Willsher

The French government has survived a high-risk confidence vote with a majority after prime minister Manuel Valls appealed to Socialist rebels to back him.

In spite of 31 abstentions from Socialist party MPs, a total of 269 MPs voted for the government and 244 against, giving Valls a clear mandate.

The result came as a relief to Valls and the beleaguered French president, François Hollande, whose popularity is at a record low, with recent polls showing up to two thirds of voters wanting him to go before the end of his term in 2017.
 Read more: French government wins high-risk confidence vote | World news | The Guardian

EU-US Trade Negotiations: Unions oppose US trade deal with EU - by John Moylan

Plans for a major EU-US trade deal have been denounced by trade unions on the last day of their annual conference.

Delegates unanimously backed a motion opposing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP) and calling for negotiations to be halted.

Some trade unions and NGOs say that the agreement will threaten the future of the NHS and other public services.

The government insists it could boost the economy and open up the US market to British firms.
In recent months, unions have stepped up their opposition to the plan.

Many have focused on the potential impact on the NHS, where private firms are able to provide services.

They claim that TTIP would allow those firms to sue the government if it chose to return those services to public ownership.

Speaking at the conference, Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary of the Unite union, called for the NHS to be protected from TTIP.

Read morfe: BBC News - Unions oppose US trade deal with EU

French govt. faces parliamentary confidence vote

France’s embattled government faces a parliamentary confidence vote, as President Francois Hollande’s popularity remains at record lows amid a political and economic crisis.

The vote will take place in the 577-seat lower chamber of parliament later on Tuesday, just weeks after an emergency cabinet reshuffle.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls, a socialist, needs an absolute majority of votes to win confidence. The Socialist party holds 289 seats in the assembly, the precise number needed to win; however, some 40 of its lawmakers have threatened to abstain from voting in protest at the government’s pro-business move to the right.

Read more: PressTV - French govt. faces parliamentary confidence vote


Europe -New EU Commissioners Ready To Roll As France and Britain Secure Top EU Economy Posts

French Socialist Former finance minister Pierre Moscovici takes the key portfolio of economic policy, though he will be supervised by former Finnish prime minister Jyrki Katainen and former Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis.

British Conservative Jonathan Hill takes a revamped portfolio entitled Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union - something the London government, outside the euro zone, had been pitching hard for. He will be in charge of relations with, among others, the European Banking Authority.

Danish liberal Margrethe Vestager will be in charge of the powerful competition portfolio that gives the EU a big say in the expansion or merger plans of the world’s biggest companies, while former Slovenian prime minister Alenka Bratusek will oversee the EU’s plan to create an energy union.

Sweden’s Cecilia Malmstrom will have the task of negotiating the world’s biggest trade agreement between the United States and Europe. Miguel Arias Caneta of Spain will be energy and climate change commissioner, though former Slovenian former premier Alenka Bratusek will have the more senior post of vice-president overseeing the development of an energy union.

Germany’s Guenther Oettinger will have responsibility for the digital economy, a portfolio including the overhaul of the EU telecoms market. Elzbieta Bienkowska of Poland takes the role of commissioner for the internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and small business.

The new Commission is due to take office on November 1, subject to its confirmation by the European Parliament.

Read more: ReEurope - France and Britain secure top EU economy posts - France 24


Spanish economy on the road to recovery, say OECD - Telegraph

The Spanish economy has undergone a "major turnaround" since emerging from its worst recession since its transition to democracy, but must continue on the path of reform, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. 

Read more: Spanish economy on the road to recovery, say OECD - Telegraph

EU Commission wrong to deny access to interchange fee research, say EU judges

The European Commission was wrong to deny MasterCard access to research that fed into the draft regulation capping cross-border card payments, EU judges in Luxembourg ruled today (9 September).

The decision could encourage businesses, NGOs and journalists to demand impact assessment documents, including those produced by third parties such as consultants, used by the Commission to justify its regulatory decisions. That could lead to research and methodologies being challenged by industry before officials propose binding rules.

Steven Peers, professor of EU law and human rights law at the University of Essex, told EurActiv, “The important feature of this judgment is that it applies the right of access to documents very strongly as regards the Commission's impact assessment process, including the draft documents drawn up by the consultants during that process.

Read more: Commission wrong to deny access to interchange fee research, say EU judges | EurActiv

European Commission rejects petition against ‘undemocratic’ EU-US trade deal - by Richard Heasma

Campaigners have today announced that the European Commission has rejected a petition that would force a public review of a secret trade deal between the EU, US and Canada in the European Parliament.

The petition called for the EU to hold a ‘European Citizens’ Initiative’ against the proposed deal between the EU and US, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the EU and Canada, known as CETA.

Across Europe, protests have been held against the secretive deals, with critics arguing they would erode the rights of both citizens and governments. One controversial issue has been the power both deals would give to corporations to sue governments over legislature that affects their profits. Campaigners fear this would permit the rolling back of anti-tobacco legislation.

read more: European Commission rejects petition against ‘undemocratic’ EU-US trade deal - Blue and Green Tomorrow