EU blog


EU blog
Saving money on travel before going travelling
By Siim Einfeldt


I wanted to say I travel a lot, because have lately gone abroad 2-4 times a year, but then I was brought back to earth by the thoughts about my friends. One of whom sort of travels every week for work, the other ones travels from country to country every year 4-6 months. He's 70 years old! So, I digress.

But even from my minimal travel experiences, there are many ways you can save from your travels even before you actually go travelling. And by saving, you actually end up keeping more money for the beer on the trip, or towards your next trip to destination XY.

Here are a few recommendations I would like to share:
- If you need to change currency, NEVER exchange the currency in bus stations, at the airports, at places where they promote themselves with NO CONVERSION FEE. In most cases, when exchanging EUR USD for example, you can lose anywhere between 10-30cents per dollar. So change the money elsewhere (good recommendation, isn't it?).
- If...

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EU blog
Is fashion business controlled by 4 main companies?
By Jay Gory


When going shopping for some clothes, you might think you're visiting the different stores with different owners, and that you might be supporting different retailers, but the reality might be somewhat different. Based on a research by voucher code company My Voucher Codes, the main retailers you actually visit are owned by the same 4 companies, plus around the same amount of slightly smaller ones. So if you were thinking something different, you would have been wrong.

The four biggest players in the high street fashion are Inditex, H&M, Arcadia, And GAP Inc. Together they own, or are majority shareholders in around 25 different fashion retailers, and have a combined annual net income of roughly 3.5 billion pounds. The biggest of them (based on their annual NET income) is H&M Group which ones 6 international fashion brands - H&M COS, Cheap Monday, Monki, Weekday and & Other Stories. H&M Group is followed by Intidex wi...

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EU blog
The basics of expanding your business abroad
By Jay Gory

Expanding your business abroad is an exciting challenge, and has the potential to push your enterprise to new heights. However, language, cultural and legal barriers can be daunting, but with the right advice and careful research, you could soon find yourself serving a whole new market.

1. Do your research
It is vital for any business to plan entry to a new market carefully. In addition to market research, businesses need to gain a basic understanding of common business etiquette by visiting the country where they intend to do business. Working with organisations that know the market directly can help.
Understanding a niche market is something that British payday loans provider Wonga is best known for. Launched in 2007, Wonga quickly became one of the UKs fastest growing companies thanks to its commitment to responsible lending and its honesty on its charges and policies, which gave the company credibility with consumers.

As well a...

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EU blog
Sculpture collection worth EUR 2.23 million going for sale at Bukowskis
By Jay Gory


EUR 2.23 million - That's the estimated value of a major sculpture collection that was once owned by Throne-Holst family. Family behind the Swedish chocolate brand Marabou. And as such, the name of the collection is The Marabou Collection.

The art was collected by Henning Throne-Holst as well as his son Johan Throne-Holst in belief that art could be used to improve the lives of the work force at their work place.

The collection, like not many others from 19th and 20th century, is greatly documented. "Today, when there's been an increase of value for art, buyers want to be sure about what they are buying. In this case, the documentation links right back to the creation of the work, which is very rare, " says Julian Barran, independent expert for nineteenth and twentieth century European art.

Among other invaluable bronzes going for sale as part of...

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EU blog
EU President: Budget Deal Possible Early Next Year
By Jay Gory

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy says an EU budget deal is possible early next year, despite the end of a two-day summit in Brussels Friday that failed to reach agreement.

Van Rompuy downplayed division, saying that "constructive discussions" at the summit meant a deal for the 27-nation bloc could be viable in early 2013.

The summit was aimed at confronting the economic crisis facing the European Union, but tensions remained high between wealthy member states and countries seeking a bigger aid budget.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, a supporter of freezing spending levels, said diplomats need to reduce what he called "unaffordable spending." He said such cuts are being made in Britain's budget and must also be made at the EU.

The current 2007-2013 budget is $1.28 trillion and the next one would cover spending through 2020.

Cameron, under pressure from skeptics in his Tory party, suppor...

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EU blog
Eurozone Finance Chiefs Resume Greek Bailout Talks
By Jay Gory

Eurozone finance chiefs are meeting in Brussels in another effort to decide whether to release more bailout money to debt-ridden Greece.

Greece hopes the finance ministers on Tuesday will approve a $40 billion rescue segment the Athens government says it needs to avoid a default on its financial obligations. The payment is part of Greece's second bailout in two years.

The head of the finance ministers, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, says he thinks there is a good chance of approval. But other European officials, including Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen, remain skeptical about Greece's commitment to financial reforms.

Contentious negotiations over Greek spending plans have lasted for months. Greece imposed a new round of austerity measures to meet the demands of its international lenders, even as workers staged frequent street protests in opposition.

​​One independent economist, Vagelis Ag...

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EU blog
EU Leaders Brace for Bitter Budget Battle
By Jay Gory

European Union leaders prepared Thursday for a summit on a proposed budget that has divided the 27-nation bloc already facing economic crisis. The two-day summit officially opens Thursday evening in Brussels.

In a battle pitting wealthy member states against those seeking a bigger aid budget, British Prime Minister David Cameron has threatened to use his veto unless spending levels are frozen. The current 2007-2013 budget is $1.28 trillion and the next one would cover spending through 2020.

The seven-year budget funds programs to spur farming and growth in the bloc's less developed regions and amounts to about 1 percent of the EU's gross domestic product.

Cameron, under constant pressure from skeptics in his Tory party, is the main proponent of imposing limits on EU spending. He is joined by the Netherlands, Sweden and, to a lesser extent, Germany.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, backs more spending, arguing t...

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EU blog
Switzerland leading the way in food affordability in Europe
By Siim Einfeldt

July 10th, Global Food Security Index was launched by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It's a tool to measure how easy it is to access sufficient amounts of safe, high-quality, affordable food, in countries around the world.

Many leading international experts were included in the creation of the Index, in order to provide dimension to the complexity of food security. They also informed the design and development of the Index itself.

"As we talked to governments, NGOs and farmer organizations around the world, weā've come to realize that while we share a common goal of food security, we do not share a common language, " said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman. The Global Food Security Index examines the factors of food insecurity in 105 countries and points to areas for improvement.

The general food security in Europe is...

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EU blog
Stupid laws in European countries
By Jay Gory

While European Union is trying to get closer to the point where the laws in all member states are the same, it possibly won't happen too soon. However, many countries have really stupid laws in place even without the help of EU.

  • Attempt to escape from prison is not illegal, however, if one he is caught he is required to serve out the remainder of his term. If you have that chance, wouldn't you give it a shot if you knew nothing can worse can happen to you than you just go back and serve your remaining time? (Denmark)
  • One may not be charged for food at an inn unless that person, by his or her own opinion, is "full".(Denmark)
  • Restaurants may not charge for water unless it is accompanied by another item such as ice or a lemon slice.(Denmark)
  • Taxi drivers must pay royalties if they play music in their cars for paying customers. (Finland) Unfortunately, this might soon become an overall trend, considering what's happening in the EU.
    ...

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    EU blog
    Myths about European Union - and the reality
    By Siim Einfeldt

    While EU has forced quite many rather ridiculous laws upon the citizens of the countries in European Union, there are a number of things that are simply myths based on misinformation/misunderstanding offered by either inadequate communication by EU or the journalists.


    • In January 2000 The Times published an article stating saying "Brussels is to force the UK to change its emergency 999 telephone number." Fortunately, that was not true. In reality EU simple forced to make the 112 number available for emergencies as well.
    • In September 2007, the Daily Mail published an article "EU wants to get rid of the Queen from our passports." This is yet another myth.
    • And then, according to yet another journalist the EU banned the consumption of cakes and scones entered into competitions in country fairs and fetes. In reality EU Regulations on the hygiene of foodstuffs had only to do with food businesses. Agricultural shows are...

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    EU blog
    Simply stupid laws in EU
    By Jay Gory

    When it comes to euro prices, we could take a look at the the topic from a slightly different angle as well. What's the price of EU? While I personally have nothing against European Union, they do have some rather ridiculous laws or even if sometimes the ideas haven't passed as laws, the fact that someone in the company of the wise men has actually suggested them and the fact that they have been considered, is pretty much as bad as a real law.
    [gres]

    • Limitation on balloon usage. According to EU rules from 1988 children under the age of 8 can not use latex balloons without a supervising parent. And text on the latex balloons must have such a warning on them. This requirement has been set to avoid death and injuries, but...come on! We've all played with balloons and other stuff, why should some regulate this crap? Sorry, but that's nonsense.

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