A “ghost state”, a separatist region of Moldova, Transnistria. It is precisely here that illegal footwear trade is taking place after the embargo against goods lacking the Moldovan official stamp. Having obtained the certificate of “made in Moldova” for their export, alleged shoe factories are able to circumvent the import quotas by falsely pointing to the label that the shoes they buy in China and resell in Europe are produced in Moldova.
Zelzate is one of the villages closed in the industrial port of Gent, home to the second largest laminated steel mill in Europe, owned by Arcelor Mittal, the world’s leading steel producer. This giant factory is the flame retardant of CO2, as well as fine dust, or particular matter (PM) responsible for health problems among young people. All this is due to a system of “emission falsity” aimed at harnessing the international emissions trading mechanism and maximizing profits.
It is still unclear what happened to the European funds allocated for post-conflict reconstruction of Kosovo. It is the funds that the European Commission gave to UNMIK, the special UN mission that politically and economically administered Kosovo from 2000 to 2008 until the transfer of powers to the new local government that declared independence from Serbia. This is a story where no one takes responsibility but where, on the other hand, the UN and the EU continue to laugh behind a rubber wall.
From 1999 to today, 2% of reconstruction aid in Kosovo(3 billion euros, paid mainly by European taxpayers) has ended up in the pockets of UNMK officials and their Kosovar accomplices. An annual cost per office and staff of 300 million euros. Everything justified in the name of the “Balkan pax”. This is the budget of the UN bureaucratic machine. That leaves behind a miserable Kosovo and a long list of pending processes.
Food piracy continues to hit the tricolor delights with great damage to our industry. It is therefore hoped that a uniform control system will be overseen by the European Commission, even if it is not welcomed by many countries which, as inspectors, often close their eyes to defend their industry. A new EU proposal against “fakes” is, however, upon us: those who continue to counterfeit trademarks in the EU will be punished with criminal penalties until detained.
A 1,700-km steel serpent built by an international consortium costing 3 billion euros brings oil from Azerbaijan’s deposits to our gas stations becoming the safest source of supply for Europe in the last year. Feeling strong of its strategic role, Azerbaijan is battling the democratization promises made to international observers with the export of black gold, becoming the “small Caucasus Russia”.
It is the privatization of water to be now in the EU viewfinder. This happened especially in Greece where attempts have been made to leverage the precarious economic situation that the country is experiencing to impose the liberalization of municipal water services in exchange for the anti-crisis aid package. Yet the same Community legislation on services sanctions the principle of non-interference in national water management modes. Italy still resists, as long as it does not have to ask for EU aid.
In Africa grow crops for energy purposes. Felisa, the Belgian start-up, is the first to invest in Africa in the production of biodiesel from palma oil. But all this involves also other Western investors and it increasingly takes on the forms of a new colonization. However it goes, as always, at the expense of local people, who risk their exclusion from their lands. How to take advantage of the promising growth of agro-energy while protecting the interests of local communities?
An investigation to find out the price of EU green policies in favor of low-grade CO₂ blends. Imagine Switzerland entirely covered with plantations to fuel cars and power plants: it is the correspondent of the land today exploited by Westerners in Africa to produce biofuels. Are we sure that this ambitious sustainable energy project is equally sustainable for African rural communities?
Russia, which at the beginning of its G8 semester had highlighted the relaunch of international energy cooperation as one of its priorities, has in fact demonstrated its preference for force politics. Russian monopolist Alexey Miller, President of Gazprom, announced that it would close gas if Eni and other European companies did not open its respective distribution markets. The EU has only to beat the opponents to the punch: diversify sources of supply before they can diversify its customers.
The “tubing” war in the Caspian Sea is approaching a turning point: Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran will try to agree on the breakdown of the energy resources of the seabed. Right in the pockets of European and Italian consumers. Today, Russian state monopoly Gazprom acquires Turkmenistan’s methane at 70 euros per thousand cubic meters and sells it back to over twice.