British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia have offered to sell take-off and landing slots on transatlantic routes in a bid to win the European Commission’s approval for a co-operation agreement between the airlines. The Commission yesterday (10 March) signalled that it believes the offer may be enough to satisfy competition concerns, by giving interested parties a month to register comment.
The European Parliament yesterday called for a global tax on financial transactions. It said the EU could consider setting up its own tax if it proves impossible to reach an international agreement. MEPs want the Commission to develop plans for a tax in time for a meeting of the G20 group of industrialised and emerging economies in June.
EU ministers on Monday (8 March) approved the creation of a €100 million microfinance facility for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Commission estimates that the fund could help raise €500m in private-sector finance.
The Parliament yesterday voted to exempt companies with fewer than ten employees from having to draw up standardised annual accounts.Opponents of the exemption said that it would fragment the single market.
Employment ministers on Monday adopted legislation extending workers’ minimum right to parental leave from three months to four. Each parent will be allowed to transfer up to three months of their allocation to their partner.
The Turkish parliament last Thursday (4 March) ratified a treaty enabling the construction of the Nabucco pipeline, which is intended to bring gas from the Caspian and Middle East to Europe. All four other transit countries – Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania – had already ratified the agreement.