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FOR THE NEW EU SANCTIONS ON IRAN, GERMAN SUPPORT HAS BEEN CRUCIAL (2/9)

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In the stepped-up Western sanctions on Iran – now at “unprecedented levels” – a significant and enabling development has been the agreement of Germany to participate in the pan-European embargo on Iranian oil after years of reluctance in Berlin to act so strongly against Tehran.

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EU DATA-PRIVACY PLANS FOR OVERHAUL, WITH SOME POTENTIAL PROBLEMS FOR U.S. COMPANIES (1/25)

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By Zachary Laven --- European Affairs editorial assistant

The European Commission’s proposal for a sweeping overhaul of rules protecting individuals’ privacy in on-line data was unveiled Wednesday as a modernizing step that could reassure users and streamline procedures for companies in this complex new legal and technical environment.

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EU Agrees To Boycott Iranian Oil, Aligning With Long-Standing U.S. Ban (1/24)

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A decision to halt EU oil imports from Iran, taken Monday by a meeting of the EU’s foreign ministers, marks the strongest step taken so far by Europe to counter Iran’s suspected nuclear ambitions.

It coincided with an expansion of U.S. sanctions (which have long barred Iranian oil) to include Iran’s third-largest bank. A steeper financial escalation is under active consideration by the Obama administration in the form of action to cut U.S. dealings with Iran’s central bank and press allied capitals to join in isolating Iran financially. Such a move would make it harder for Tehran to use oil revenues for international purchases aimed at strengthening the country’s nuclear program.

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EU – Like White House – Publically Criticizes Terms of Proposed U.S. Law on Internet Piracy (1/20)

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The top European official dealing with internet matters spoke out publicly against Congressional draft bills penalizing websites for pirating movies as “bad legislation.” Her statement, via Twitter, reflected what her spokesman said was “concern about peoples’ access to the internet.”
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A Weakening Euro Could Now Be Good For Eurozone By Inciting Export Growth (1/11)

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Despite the sovereign debt woes of some countries in the eurozone, the euro currency itself has stood up strongly (surprising so to many) in currency markets, particularly against the dollar. That rate has changed in recent weeks, in favor of the dollar: the euro has now depreciated by nearly 10 percent against the dollar. The falling euro's international value could make European exports more competitive globally, particularly those of Germany and Italy. The euro has been "devalued" slightly in currency markets as (1) the U.S. economy has shown signs of revival and as (2) the European Central Bank's policy of maintaining very low interest rates under the bank's new head, Mario Draghi.  If it lasts for six months, a euro "devaluation" of this sort could add a point economic growth in some eurozone countries (and also make existing loans a little cheaper to pay off), analysts say. That, in turn, could spare the EU as a whole from sinking back into recession and facilitate the reform process in troubled eurozone economies such as convalescent Italy.


By European Affairs