Spain to close most remaining coal mines by year’s end

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Spain is to shut down most of its coalmines by the end of the year after government and unions struck a deal that will mean €250m (£221m) will be invested in mining regions over the next decade.Unions hailed the mining deal – which covers Spain’s privately owned pits – as a model agreement. It mixes early retirement schemes for miners over 48, with environmental restoration work in pit communities and re-skilling schemes for cutting-edge green industries.Teresa Ribera, the minister for ecological transition, said: “With this agreement, we have solved the first urgent task we had on the table when we came to government. Our aim has been to leave no one behind. We also want to go further, we want to innovate. That is why we offer the drawing up of ‘Just Transition’ contracts, with the aim of helping the regions to consolidate the employment of the future.”More than a thousand miners and subcontractors will lose their jobs when 10 pits close by the end of the year. Almost all of the sites were uneconomic concerns that the European commission had allowed Spain to temporarily keep open with a €2.1bn state aid plan.Montserrat Mir, the Spanish confederal secretary for the European Trades Union Congress, said the “just transition” model could be applied elsewhere. “Spain can export this deal as an example of good practice,” she said. “We have shown that it’s possible to follow the Paris agreement without damage [to people’s livelihoods]. We don’t need to choose between a job and protecting the environment. It is possible to have both.”Spain’s coal industry employed more than 100,000 miners in the 1960s, but its energy dominance was eroded by cheap imports and increasing awareness of the industry’s environmental, health and climate costs. National coal provides just 2.3% of Spain’s electricity.More: Spain to close most coal mines in €250m transition deal Spain to close most remaining coal mines by year’s endlast_img read more

Romania’s mandatory pension funds manage 3.7% return

first_imgSecond-pillar membership over the year grew by 4.2% to 6.56m, and net assets by 29.1% in Romania leu terms to RON24.7bn (€5.5bn).The contribution rate, which remained unchanged at 5% of gross wages, rose to 5.1% in 2016.Investment remained primarily domestic.There were minor shifts in asset allocation, with the share of government bonds falling by 2.1 percentage points to 65.9%.Investment in municipal, supranational and corporate bonds also declined.Meanwhile, the share of listed equities grew by 0.2 percentage points to 19.2%, that of cash and deposits by 1.1 percentage points 6.5%, and that of mutual funds by 0.5 percentage points to 3.7%.Bobocea told IPE asset picking rather than asset allocation could explain why the funds avoided year-end negative returns.The 10 voluntary third-pillar funds told a similar story, with the annual return falling from 7.45% to 2.54%.Membership grew by 10.4% to 382,318 and assets by 20.4% to RON1.3bn.The investment profile was similar to that of the second pillar – government bonds accounted for 64.9% of the total, other bonds 8.5%, listed equities 19.3% and cash and deposits 4.5%. Romania’s mandatory second-pillar pension funds, as elsewhere in the region, generated lower returns in 2015, although all seven funds managed to produce positive results.According to the Romanian Pension Funds’ Association (APAPR), the annual average weighted returns of the second-pillar funds fell to 3.68%, from 8.71% a year earlier.Mihai Bobocea, adviser to the APAPR board, attributed the fall to a “historically low interest-rate environment and stagnating stock exchange quotations”.In 2015, the turnover of listed companies on the Bucharest Stock Exchange declined by 23% year on year in local currency terms, and there was a dearth of IPOs compared with 2014.last_img read more

Funeral honours begin in Brazil for Chapecoense plane crash victims

first_imgCHAPECO – Funeral honours got under way here Saturday in Brazil for the members of the Chapecoense soccer club who died in a plane crash in northwestern Colombia earlier last week.Coffins draped with the club’s flag and containing the remains of 50 victims arrived in two military planes from Medellin, Colombia, starting at 9:30 am and were received with military honors amid a heavy downpour at the Serafin Enoss Bertaso airport in this southern city.Brazilian President Michel Temer was on hand to pay tribute to the victims.Some 100,000 people, according to the team’s estimates, have gathered inside and outside the team’s Arena Conda stadium to pay their final respects to the victims, who are due to arrive there via a funeral cortege.Chapecoense players, executives, coaches and other staff, along with special guests, journalists and a crew of nine, were on board a charter flight operated by Bolivia’s Lamia airlines that departed Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and crashed in the mountains Monday night before it could reach Medellin’s airport.The pilot had been given priority to land after frantically alerting the control tower that the plane was running dangerously low on fuel, but he did not have enough time to get to the runway.Chapecoense, a club based in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, was traveling to Medellin to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional.The Brazilian victims of the plane crash included 19 Chapecoense players, 25 executives, coaches and special guests of the club and a score of journalists.The bodies of many of the media professionals who died in the crash were transported Saturday to their respective home cities for burial.last_img read more

GAC Motors Partners Feet n Tricks, Donates Car for Freestyle Football…

first_imgGAC Motors, a product of Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Company Limited, has thrown its weight behind the first major National Freestyle Football Championship in Nigeria hosted by Feet ‘n’ Tricks International Limited.The event, which is the maiden edition, is expected to take place at the Ikeja City Mall in Lagos on Sunday July 23, 2017, and the winner will represent Nigeria at the Super Ball competition in Prague, in August 2017. The Chairperson of Choice International and representative of GAC Motors in Africa, Chief Diana Chan, said GAC Motors was collaborating with Feet ‘n’ Tricks to help give better future and sustainable leaving to talented young men and women in Nigeria.She said, “Our mission in Nigeria is to offer the next credible alternatives to users of vehicles in Nigeria through our sincere commitment to offering high quality products and services to our customers, and in doing this to support the creative arts and sports and talented young Nigerians in order to bring out the best in them.”Organisers of the event have added that apart from going away with a brand new car, donated by GAC Motors, the winner will also have all-expense paid trip to Prague in August 2017 to represent Nigeria at the Super Ball and cash prize of N1m.A Director of Feet ‘n’ Tricks, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, also remarked that there would be four winners in each of male and female categories, each winner to go home with handsome prizes.He said, “The scope as from 2018 where regional events will hold in each of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria before the grand finale in Lagos. We will also target to replicate the success in other African countries”.Throwing more light on how to participate in the competition, the CEO of Feet n Tricks, Odyke Nzewi, explained that athletes were to register on the platform and upload a 30 seconds video of them freestyling. These video entries will be subjected to a screening process by professional judges before being shortlisted for the online voting.As expected, the event will have a line of top rated Nigeria artists to entertain our local and international audience.One of Africa’s most decorated footballers, Nwankwo Kanu, and media guru, Olisa Adibua, are also partnering Feet ‘n’ Tricks to organise the freestyle football championship.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more