Insight: As Ukraine looks west to Europe, Russia’s shadow looms
“The hard data so far for the third quarter has perhaps a bit more on the disappointing side – in particular industrial production …was very weak in July,” said Matthews. “We expect this to bounce back, but this suggests we could see a slightly slower pace of growth in the third quarter relative to the second quarter.” PMI compiler Markit said its surveys suggested the euro zone economy grew around 0.2 percent from July through September, a touch below the 0.3 percent registered in the second quarter. Nomura’s Matthews said they suggested a slightly stronger rate of growth for the final months of the year. STILL NOT ON SOLID GROUND Markit’s Eurozone Services PMI rose to 52.2 in September from August’s 50.7, little changed from a preliminary reading of 52.1. Readings above 50 signify growth. Businesses in No.1 economy Germany reported rising new orders and staffing levels, while France’s private sector grew for the first time in a year and a half. The upbeat mood was further bolstered by news that euro zone retail sales jumped 0.7 percent in August, month-on-month, hitting the top end of forecasts. Draghi said on Wednesday the euro zone economy still faced downside risks. Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist, said the surveys pointed to slightly stronger growth towards the end of this year, even if the region was not out of the woods. “The political instability that has reared up in Italy is a reminder that there remains plenty of scope for recoveries to be derailed,” said Williamson. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday after Silvio Berlusconi, facing revolt in his own party, backtracked on threats to bring down the government. The Italian services PMI topped the 50 growth threshold last month for the first time since May 2011, which could signal a timid recovery towards the end of the year. British business again showed the fastest pace of growth among Europe’s major economies last month.
It’s a growing problem for Europe and some officials complain the EU isn’t doing enough. By Nick Squires ,Correspondent / October 3, 2013 An Italian Coast Guard boat carry rescued migrants as they arrive in the port of Lampedusa Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. Nino Randazzo/Health Care Service/AP Enlarge Rome A boat packed with African migrants headed to Europe caught fire, capsized, and sank Thursday off the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa , killing more than 90 people and leaving 250 missing, officials said. The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition The tragedy was the latest in a series of maritime incidents involving Europe-bound migrants, tens of thousands of whom flee war-torn and poverty-stricken countries in Africa and Asia every year seeking European prosperity. The boat carrying an estimated 500 men, women, and children, mainly from Eritrea and Somalia, was traveling from the Libyan coast when the fire broke out at dawn near Lampedusa, an island just 86 miles from Tunisia . RECOMMENDED: Think you know Europe? Take our geography quiz. As the fire raged, terrified migrants rushed to one side of the 65 foot-long boat, causing it to capsize about half a nautical mile off the islands coast, officials said. The Italian coast guard rescued about 150 people but another 250 were still missing hours after the disaster happened, said Antonio Candela, a government health commissioner. Italian television showed recovered bodies lined up along the quayside of the islands tiny port. More than 90 bodies had been recovered by midday Thursday, according to Angelino Alfano, a deputy prime minister. “It’s horrific, like a cemetery.
Continental Europe grabs 2-point lead in Paris
Lawrie helped square the match at the par-5 seventh when he hit driver to the green with his second shot from 257 yards out, setting up a winning birdie. Gallacher then gave his side the 1-up lead with a 20-foot birdie putt at the next, and a par at the 10th doubled the Scots’ advantage. Jimenez’s birdie at the 11th narrowed the margin to one, but Gallacher matched Bjorn’s chip-in birdie at the 14th with a make from 12 feet, and consecutive birdies at the 15th and 16th sealed the lone victory for GB&I. “It’s always nice to win,” said Lawrie. “Obviously there is a little bit more pressure when you are going out there first, you want to get a point on the board which we managed to do and we both combined very well today.” GB&I couldn’t sustain the early success, however. The last match to start was actually the second to finish, as Colsaerts and Fernandez-Castano breezed past Warren and Jamieson to earn Continental Europe’s first point. Colsaerts, a Ryder Cup standout at Medinah, and Fernandez-Castano never trailed after notching birdies at the first and third to go 2-up. They were 1- up through 10 after a GB&I birdie there, then closed with three birdies and an eagle over their final five holes to wrap up the convincing victory. Ilonen and Olesen were 2-up with three to play before both players found the water at the 16th. Fleetwood and Wood got one back there, but were unable to get any closer, as Ilonen and Olesen closed out the win with pars at Nos. 17 and 18. GB&I appeared poised to earn a point in the next match, as Casey and Khan took a 1-up lead into the final hole, but Molinari managed birdie at the last to halve the match, and Luiten and Bourdy closed out Continental Europe’s successful opening day with a 2 & 1 win over Donaldson and Lynn. “They played very well,” said GB&I captain Sam Torrance. “Our boys played very well too, but they made a few more birdies than us. Our turn tomorrow.” NOTES: Hanson withdrew from the Seve Trophy on Monday due to a lingering back injury.
In the Caucasus, territorial disputes such as that between Armenia and Azerbaijan could hurt Europe’s energy aims and pull it into conflict with Russia. “The fundamental interest in the eastern partnership is to have a zone of stability to the east of the European Union and not be faced with state failure … in which case there could be spillover into the EU,’ said Michael Leigh, a senior adviser with the General Marshall Fund in Brussels. PAY THE PRICE But for all its planning, Europe also knows retribution, in the shape of an energy squeeze, is likely from Russia. Moscow, which has a long-standing disagreement with Ukraine over gas, has said it will raise Ukraine’s gas prices and officials do not rule out it doing the same for the EU, which gets nearly 40 percent of its gas from Russia. Moscow has in the past, during disputes with Ukraine, cut off the flow to EU member states, several of which are entirely dependent on Russia’s supplies, and could do so again. “We would not be surprised if they play the gas card, it’s among the factors we are taking into account,” said the EU official involved in the Ukraine negotiations. But the EU’s calculation also is that Russia, which relies on Europe for revenue from its gas, will not impose restrictive measures for very long. Knowing the immediate retaliatory impact of the association agreement will be felt first in Ukraine, where living standards are well below the EU average, Brussels is ready to take steps to support the country. These include allowing the free-trade benefits to kick in immediately – rather than Kiev having to wait until all 28 EU members have ratified the agreement. For Ukraine, with its economy based on steel, chemicals and agricultural products, free trade with a bloc of 500 million European consumers and businesses is a huge boon. But while the association agreement will bring extensive trade benefits and in time a deal on visas, Ukraine is seen as too different in too many respects to join the list of countries in line to join the European Union any time soon. In that respect, Ukraine faces years in a twilight zone.