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EU's Juncker faces confidence vote STRASBOURG: The European Parliament holds a confidence vote Thursday on Jean-Claude Juncker and his entire Commission over the "Luxleaks" tax scandal, in a symbolic but still damaging move less than a month into his five-year mandate.Juncker and his team of 27 commissioners, who took office on November 1, are virtually certain to survive the vote as major political groups have opposed the censure motion, filed last week by eurosceptic groups.The motion focuses on revelations from a journalistic investigation that showed Luxembourg gave tax deals to dozens of global firms during Juncker's 19 years as prime minister of the tiny duchy.Two-thirds of MEPs would have to back the no confidence motion in order for it to pass in the vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, which is due around 1100 GMT.The vote threatens to take the lustre off Juncker's announcement a day earlier of a giant 315-billion-euro ($380 billion) investment ...

Scotland to receive greater control over tax powers: reports LONDON: Scotland is set to gain the biggest transfer of power since its devolved parliament was set up when an influential commission recommends on Thursday that the country should have large new powers over income tax, media reports said.Scottish voters rejected independence from Britain in a referendum in September, swayed in part by promises by British politicians of a greater say in managing their own affairs, including more powers to set their own tax rates.Media ...
Hollande embarks on trip to Ebola-hit Guinea PARIS: French President Francois Hollande on Friday begins a visit to Guinea, making him the first Western leader to travel to a country hit hard by the deadly Ebola virus.Guinea has already lost 1,200 people to the disease which has killed over 5,600 in total and infected almost 16,000, mainly in west Africa, according to World Health Organization figures.The visit, the first by a French president since 1999, is a bid to deliver "a message ...
Spanish PM to announce new law after graft scandal MADRID: Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will on Thursday present a new law aimed at tightening political party accounting rules, the day after his health minister resigned amid a massive corruption scandal.Health minister Ana Mato stepped down on Wednesday after being linked to the scandal involving an alleged kickback scheme at the heart of the prime minister's conservative Popular Party.Her departure was accepted by Rajoy whose government has been embarrassed by the court investigation into ...
Crete to take some 700 migrants from stricken ship IERAPETRA: The Greek island of Crete was preparing on Wednesday to take in some 700 migrants aboard a freighter immobilised by engine failure, local officials said.The Kiribati-flagged ferry Baris was being towed by a Greek navy frigate to the Cretan port of Ierapetra, and was expected to arrive on Thursday, the Greek coastguard said."The freighter is expected to arrive early on Thursday owing to poor weather conditions," a coastguard spokesman told AFP.The town authorities are ...
EU takes France to task over protest death dam BRUSSELS: The European Commission launched legal action against France on Wednesday over a controversial dam project that saw a young protestor killed by a police grenade last month.The Commission, the EU's executive arm, said the dam risked violating European water management rules and comes as the French government, hit by controversy, has cooled on the 8.4-billion-euro ($10.5 billion) project.The EU said it was preparing to inform Paris of "a suspected violation of the water directive ...
Irish unemployment rate falls to 11.1pc in third quarter DUBLIN: Ireland's unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent in the third quarter from 11.5 percent in the previous three months, data showed on Wednesday, as job growth picked up pace quarter-on-quarter. Employment has been growing steadily since the jobless rate hit a high of 15.1 percent in early 2012 when Ireland was in an EU/IMF bailout, although figures showed on Tuesday that wages have continued to fall. The number of people in work rose by ...


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln