Connect with us

Business

European farmers stage new protests over heavy EU regulations, cheap imports

FI

Published

on

ROME/WARSAW, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) — Farmers in Italy, Poland, Spain and Bulgaria have staged new protests this week against excessively restrictive European Union regulations and cheap imports from non-EU countries.

In Italy on Friday, a convoy of tractors drove past the historical center of Rome, bearing national flags and slogans such as “Without farmers: no food, no future” and “End payment for not growing crops.”

“We have our priorities and we have followed the rules, and now we expect our priorities to be taken seriously by the authorities,” Salvatore Fais, leader of Agricultural Redemption, the organizer of the protest, told Xinhua.

Hours later, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met with farmer representatives and announced that personal income tax exemptions would be extended to those with an annual income of up to 10,000 euros (10,800 U.S. dollars).

In Poland, farmers also took to the streets on Friday, blocking off roads and the border crossings with Ukraine, in protest against EU farming policies and cheap imports from Ukraine.

The demonstration is planned to last for 30 days. Poland’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Czeslaw Siekierski said he would support the implementation of a “complete” import ban on product categories if necessary.

He mentioned sugar and poultry as potential targets due to concerns about the excessive influx of such products from Ukraine.

Friday is the fourth day of protests by Spanish farmers, who have been blocking several streets, highways and ports across the country and announced plans to gather in Madrid. A convoy of tractors bearing Spanish flags disrupted the traffic on the A-2 highway to Madrid near the central town of Torija during the daytime.

Spanish media reported that the farmers railed against the EU’s environmental rules and what they called as excessive taxes and red tape.

On Thursday morning, Bulgarian farmers’ protests blocked the outbound traffic at the Giurgiu Border Crossing Point on the Romania side. The blockade lasted approximately four hours, according to the Giurgiu Border Police Territorial Inspectorate.

According to Bulgaria media, the nationwide demonstrations by farmers and agricultural workers in Bulgaria started on Tuesday and stemmed from concerns over cheap imports from Ukraine.

Farmers have staged demonstrations across Europe in recent weeks to protest against low produce prices, rising costs, cheap imports and constraints linked to the EU’s policies against climate change. They are demanding action by the authorities.

The European Commission has made some concessions over the last few weeks, including withdrawing plans to halve the use of pesticides and other dangerous substances. Nonetheless, the protests have continued.

Source(s): Xinhua

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Business

BML issues MVR 5 bil in loans in 2023

FI

Published

on

By

Bank of Maldives (BML) has reported issuing a total of MVR 5 billion in loans in 2023.

According to BML, despite inflation rate hikes and geopolitical tensions globally, the Maldives economic growth increased by 6.5% last year, which was reflected on the bank’s performance as well.

BML reported its balance sheet for 2023 observed an MVR 3.8 billion increment, while the bank’s total asset value increased over MVR 45 billion. Additionally, the bank’s operating profit rose by 7 percent, registering MVR 2.7 billion in total.

The bank had earlier announced a record-high profit-after-tax of MVR 2.07 billion in annual terms observed in 2023.

BML’s Director of Retail, Business and SME Banking, Moosa Nimal said the bank issued MVR 5 billion in loans to both businesses and individuals last year, out of which MVR 1.4 billion was specifically issued to individuals and SME segment, which is the highest issuance for the segment in the last five years.

Besides this, the bank further enhanced its personal banking services with new and improved products for general customers and businesses.

Speaking on the new services the bank introduced last year, Nimal said, “Education is a top priority for us, and to assure the Maldivian economy is built on the foundation of strong education, we sliced the Kiyavaa Loan rate from 9% to 5%. Additionally, to qualify individuals to seek loan facilities for housing, we extended the Home Purchase Loan and Financing period to 25 years, and extended the maximum loan amount to MVR 1.2 million without a collateral.”

Additionally, three businesses under the BML Startup Grant successfully began operations last year, while two more were assisted under the grant.

Last year 23,000 new customers joined the bank, surging its customer base to 345,000 in total and 66,000 new bank accounts were opened which include 5,600 business accounts.

Source(s): sun.mv

Continue Reading

Business

Government to hold discussions with America to enhance PayPal services

FI

Published

on

By

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has revealed plans to hold discussions with the American government during the month of July, aiming to bolstering PayPal services in the Maldives and resolve the various challenges individuals encounter in accessing these services.

PayPal is an e-wallet or an application designed to facilitate the transfer of money online. Despite the application being utilised by several Maldivians, they have faced issues in obtaining all the services PayPal offers. As such, Maldivians using PayPal are restricted solely to outbound fund transfers, with no provision for inbound transactions.

Highlighting the commitment of President Dr. Muizzu to expanding online financial transaction avenues, Minister Saeed underscored ongoing efforts to introduce diverse e-wallet services nationwide. Confirming a scheduled official trip to the United States on July 10, the minister revealed intentions to confer with potential digital wallet providers from America. He ensured that the discussions will pertain to address the issues and challenged faced by e-wallet users in the Maldives.

Furthermore, Minister Saeed affirmed that that discussions will extend to establishing agreements with prominent digital wallet entities such as PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, with a view to enhancing the seamless facilitation of online financial transactions.

In addition to the e-wallets from America, efforts are underway by the government to introduce digital wallets from other countries. Under these initiatives, the Bank of Maldives (BML) has made arrangements such that dollar transactions from foreign platforms and e-wallet services are available since March 31. Among the e-wallets that were made available, WeChat Pay, a popular Chinese e-wallet that facilitates online financial transactions, was also included. Previously, BML halted these services following the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to prevent the outflow of foreign currency from the nation.

Source(s): PsmNews

Continue Reading

Business

India proposes Free Trade Agreement with Maldives

FI

Published

on

By

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed on Saturday announced Indian government’s proposal for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

At the press conference held by the Ministry of Economic Development on Saturday to highlight the achievements and initiatives of the state body in the last six months, Minister Saeed said India has expressed interest for a Free Trade Agreement with the Maldives besides a SAFTA.

“President of the Maldives has extended the opportunity to the international community” Saeed commented.

Despite revealing Indian’s proposal for an FTA, Saeed did not disclose further information of the high-level discussion meeting between him and the Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives Munu Mahawar.

The two had discussed on further strengthening the cooperative ties of both nations in multiple areas.

The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) is the free trade arrangement of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

The agreement came into force in 2006, succeeding the 1993 SAARC Preferential Trading Agreement. SAFTA signatory countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.

Under the SAFTA agreement, export duties on Maldives fish products to India were quashed in 2022.

Earlier, during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration, Maldives government entered into a Free Trade Agreement with China. However, Yameen’s successor, former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had criticized the agreement and announced his administration would not honor due to its particulars.

The Maldives-China Free Trade Agreement breathed new life after Dr. Mohamed Muizzu took charge as Maldives President in November 2023. The incumbent President said the agreement was a symbol of strong relations between the Maldives and China, adding his administration was ready to continue honoring the agreement.

While India has expressed interested for an FTA with the Maldives, the relations between the two countries soured earlier after three high-ranking Maldivian officials made derogatory remarks against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Moreover, President Dr. Muizzu has been labeled as “pro-China” in several Indian media outlets, but the Maldives head of state had later responded to the claims stating he is “pro-Maldives”.

Source(s): sun.mv

Continue Reading

Trending