EU Accusing Luxembourg & Amazon

The EU has accused both Luxembourg and Amazon of finding a band-aid fix to avoid tax. Competition Commissioner Joaquin Alumina sent a 23 page letter to the Luxembourg foreign ministry. It is they said, “The commission’s preliminary view is that the tax ruling of 5 November 2003 by Luxembourg in favour of Amazon constitutes state aid”.

The EU said: “The commission is  of the opinion that through the contested tax ruling the Luxembourgish authorities confer an advantage on Amazon.” Amazon denied receiving any special tax treatment from Luxembourg.

They are also probing deals that took place between Apple and Ireland and Starbucks and the Netherlands.

Beyler Eyubov Sweetens up Life in London

It’s not every that peoples’ dreams come to fruition, but it is worthwhile putting a spotlight on those that do. Certainly, in order to succeed, people need to have a business plan, capital, assistance and a dream. Beyler Eyyubov, who came to London from the Middle East, had the dream of opening a sweets shop like the ones that his father and grandfather owned. He had capital saved from his hard work helping his father in their family sweet shop back at home, and he found a small but respectable location in London.

Setting up with a modest plan and a tight budget, he wanted to introduce Londoners to the sweets of his home country, while also offering some British specialties to keep them coming. Today, he offers a mix that allows him to feel that he has brought some of his homeland to London, while also pleasing those British traditionalists who want their scones and other British delicacies.

A few of his most popular items include gavurga, paklava and shakarbura. Gavurga is a wheat dish fried with raisins and nuts. It is traditionally made during the Novruz holiday, but Beyler Eyubov serves it all year round. Paklava is a diamond-shaped thinly layered pastry that is filled with nuts and sugar. Eyubov says that this is a favorite of his customers. Shakarbura is a pie of thin dough that is filled with nuts and sugar.

Anyone with a sweet tooth in London should check out Beyler Eyubov’s delicacies and appreciate the hard work that has gone into making his place a success.

The Consequences if Greece Leaves

As Greece contemplates the idea of leaving the EU, it’s certainly worthwhile to read analyses about the consequences that these actions would have. One article points out that, should it come to Greece leaving the EU, “A Greek default on its around 240 billion euros in rescue loans would send another shock wave to the (euro) are.” This analysis comes from Guy Verhofstadt, president of the liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament.

The full article is worth a read, and the situation is certainly worth watching very closely.

Eastern European News

EU Offering Aid to Bulgaria

The European Commission has proposed a grant to give Bulgaria EUR 10 million in aid for flood damage. The EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council is expected to approve of this proposal. The vote on the EUR 10 million aid package for Varna and Dobrich districts will take place on Friday, according to the Bulgarian EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.

Banning High Powered Hair Dryers & Other Appliances in the EU

If you live in the EU, you might want to grab that high powered hair dryer and hide it now. That’s because the hair dryer is on the list of 30 appliances that the EU is considering banning in order to curb energy consumption. A study that was commissioned by the EU has identified these 30 appliances which would be restricted.

The ban on powerful vacuum cleaners already began this week. From September 1, companies in the EU will be banned from making or importing vacuum cleaners that are above 1600 watts.

Sales have certainly risen ahead of the deadline with sales jumping for Tesco 44% in the last few nights.

As Guenther Oettinger told Germany’s Bild newspaper “We haven’t got round to these devices yet, we want to curb power consumption.” The EU Commission spokeswoman said, “It’s a study we have asked consultants to do. In the final report they will reduce 30 products to 20. In January 2015 we will look at these recommendations then select from this list what to regulate and how.”

Of course, the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF) has urged the EU to reconsider, saying its plans are “ill thought-out”. NHF president Mark Corary pointed at the potential irony of the ban, saying that banning these items won’t reduce energy consumption since blow-drying a client’s hair will now just take longer.