Europe Reacts To Obama-rouhani Phone Call With Optimism

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has not been greeted with smiles in Israel,” said Michael Herzog, a retired brigadier general in the Israel Defense Forces in an opinion piece in the British newspaper, The Guardian. “Iran’s history of deceit on this issue calls for rephrasing President Reagan’s famous reference to the Soviet Union: ‘Do not trust, but verify.’ Give Rouhani a chance, but test him by his deeds. Israel neither trusts Rouhani nor fully relies on President Obama’s resolve,” Herzog writes. France, also skeptical, called on Rouhani to shorten the time period to implement a nuclear agreement over concerns that the longer negotiations go on, the more progress Iran could make in its atomic capabilities. Zarif said last week that the implantation could take a year, while Rouhani contradicted him by saying it would take three to six months. European and Arab leaders are concerned that Rouhani is only playing for concessions regarding sanctions that have taken a steep toll on the Iranian economy. Iranian oil exports have fallen 60% over the past two years and inflation runs in the double-digits. And there is skepticism over whether Rouhani, who rose through the Iranian revolution, is really the conciliatory and independent peacemaker he is portraying himself to be. “Enter Rouhani with his charm offensive, he provides relief from the confrontational style of his predecessor,” Herzog said. “Yet in the rough terrain of the Middle East, where suspicion is a common trait hardened by long experience, there is ample reason to suspect his motives. Rouhani is the flesh and blood of an Iranian system which has heavily invested in its nuclear program and is unlikely to give up on it, and at the end of the day, he answers to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei.” Rouhani, a cleric, was swept up in the 1979 Iran’s Islamic Revolution as a firm opponent to the shah and became an ally and part of the inner circle of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, serving in various roles in the government after Khomeini’s ascension to power.

Research and Markets: Europe B2C E-Commerce Report 2013

In Germany, B2C E-Commerce sales reached several tens of billions of euros in 2012 and showed double digit growth over 2011. As a share of total retail sales, B2C E-Commerce accounted for several percentage points less than 10% in 2012, and the share is expected to increase by one percentage point in 2013. The most used payment methods for online shopping in Germany are invoice and PayPal, a contrast with many other European E-Commerce markets where bank cards are the most popular payment method. US based mass-merchant Amazon is the largest E-Commerce player, while the Germany based Otto Group continues expansion into domestic as well as international B2C E-Commerce. German online retailers benefit from popularity with shoppers in neighboring Austria. Eastern Europe sees higher rate of growth in online sales. B2C E-Commerce in Russia grew by over a quarter in 2012, reaching a double digit figure in billions of euros. Further expansion in the online retail market is expected. Some product categories, such as household goods, cosmetics and auto parts have shown recent growth of over 50%. The clothing segment, including such players as Lamoda and Kupivip, has attracted large investments from overseas as well as domestic investors. The largest online retailer, mass merchant Ozon, increased its sales by a high double digit figure above 50%. The growth of the Russian B2C E-Commerce market has attracted the attention of foreign players, with Asos launching a local website and Amazon opening a local office in the Spring of 2013.

German elections and Europe’s economy: Five things you need to know

Many governments devote significant funds to breast cancer screening, but studies in recent years have found that routine breast mammograms can also lead to so-called “over-diagnosis” when tests pick up tumors that would not have caused a problem. And a new study presented at the European Cancer Conference (ECC) in Amsterdam at the weekend showed men experience more harm than good from routine prostate cancer screening tests. In bowel cancer screening, however, the risk of over-diagnosis is very low, while gains in terms of reducing deaths are large – making routine testing cost-effective, Philippe Autier, a professor at France’s International Prevention Research Institute (IPPR), told the conference. “There is now an irrefutable case for devoting some of the resources from breast and prostate cancer screening to the early detection of colorectal (bowel) cancer,” he said. A large European study published last year found that breast screening programs over-diagnose about four cases for every 1,000 women aged between 50 and 69 who are screened. The IPPR’s research director Mathieu Boniol, who studied the impact of prostate screening, said his results showed routine use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests creates more harm in terms of incontinence, impotence and other side-effects from prostate cancer treatments than benefit in terms of detecting life-threatening cancers. “PSA testing should be reduced and more attention should be given to the harmful effects of screening,” he told delegates. Meanwhile, results of a study conducted by Autier using data from 11 European countries between 1989 and 2010 showed that the greater the proportions of men and women routinely screened for bowel cancer, the greater the reductions in death rates. Colorectal cancer kills more than 600,000 people a year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. In Europe some 400,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year. In Austria, for example, where 61 percent of those studied reported having had colorectal screening tests, deaths from this form of cancer dropped by 39 percent for men and 47 percent for women over the decade. Meanwhile in Greece, where only 8 percent of males had had bowel cancer screening, death rates rose by 30 percent for men. In the light of the results, Cornelis van de Velde, an oncologist at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands and president of the European Cancer Organisation, said it was “very disappointing” there are such wide differences in European governments’ approaches to colorectal screening. “People over 50 should be informed of the availability of the test, and pressure should be put on national health services to put more effort into organizing screening programs,” he told the conference.

Scientists urge Europe to shift focus to bowel cancer screening

Germany’s skilled immigration boom But Merkel does face challenges. A grand coalition will require her to make concessions that may impact her plans. In 2005 it took almost a month to negotiate a coalition — so there could be weeks of uncertainty in European markets before the government is actually formed. Is there an alternative for Germany? Will there be more bailouts under a Merkel coalition? Germany and Greece have both acknowledged the latter will require further financial assistance. The IMF-led bailout for Greece is due to expire next year, leaving the nation with a financial shortfall of around 14 billion euros. Greece, which has already received two bailouts, may find itself facing more conditions as it seeks a third round of aid from its European peers. Portugal, which has been bailed out once, is expected to face problems if it attempts to return to the bond markets. As a result, bailouts and haircuts are likely to remain on the agenda for Merkel’s third term even as the eurozone enters a recovery phase. IN PHOTOS: Rising to the top The nascent pan-eurozone banking union and other pillars of Europe’s rescue package — like the legal use of the ECB’s pledge to support ailing nations through “outright monetary transactions” — are other issues that will need to be settled.