MEPs vote to shrink European Parliament after Brexit Following months of debate on redistribution of Britain’s seats, compromise proposal carries overwhelmingly. -Politico.eu

Merkel's Got Some Explaining To Do German Chancellor Angela Merkel has completely reversed her refugee policies without bothering to tell German voters why she has done so. Such imperiousness is a common problem for those who have been in office for too long. -Der Spiegel

ELECTION WATCH And the next Italian prime minister is … The field is wide open ahead of March 4 election. -Politico.eu

“Paolo Gentiloni is popular in the polls and many in the country have argued he should stay on.”

Asian sweatshop fears threaten EU’s trade momentum Trade commissioner wants Vietnam to commit to labor reforms before deal is implemented. -Politico.eu

EU tax haven blacklist: Finance ministers remove eight countries, including Panama Officials and activists have decried a decision by EU ministers to remove several states from a tax haven blacklist. Among those delisted is Panama, less than two years after its secretive tax loopholes were leaked. -DW

US blames Russia for chemical attacks in Syria Washington's top diplomat has accused Moscow of breaching "its commitments" to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. Aid workers have reported another chemical attack on the last rebel bastion near Damascus. -DW

A bitter rivalry between Arab states is spilling into Africa THE rivalry between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on one side and the Gulf state of Qatar on the other is spilling poison into the Horn of Africa, embittering animosities between half a dozen countries in the region. -The Economist

Can Ramaphosa Fix South Africa? -Project Syndicate




WTF is GDPR? European Union lawmakers proposed a comprehensive update to the bloc’s data protection and privacy rules in 2012. -Tech Crunch

THE THERE IS MIFID II AND MIFIR became applicable as from 3 January 2018. -EU rules on investment services

MiFID 2 aims to reinforce the rules on securities markets by

  • ensuring that organised trading takes place on regulated platforms
  • introducing rules on algorithmic and high frequency trading
  • improving the transparency and oversight of financial markets – including derivatives markets - and addressing some shortcomings in commodity derivatives markets
  • enhancing investor protection and improving conduct of business rules as well as conditions for competition in the trading and clearing of financial instruments

MiFIR sets out requirements on

  • disclosure of data on trading activity to the public
  • disclosure of transaction data to regulators and supervisors
  • mandatory trading of derivatives on organised venues
  • removal of barriers between trading venues and providers of clearing services to ensure more competition
  • specific supervisory actions regarding financial instruments and positions in derivatives

Qualcomm Gets $1.2 Billion EU Fine for Apple Chip Payments -Bloomberg

France renews push to lure bankers to Paris after Brexit The French government has already announced measures to cut labour costs to make Paris more attractive to the banking sector post-Brexit following the election of President Emmanuel Macron in May 2017. -France24

France’s New Labor Laws: ‘Flexibility, and No Security’ -NYT

Uber CEO to end 'pirate' culture in push for 'reset' in Germany Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has said the US ride-hailing firm will focus on "responsible growth" in Europe as he seeks to end the "pirate mentality" -DW

Murdoch’s Bid for Full Control of Sky Is Dealt a Blow by U.K. Regulator -NYT

Corbyn Dreams of Nationalization. But What About Amazon? Royal Mail needs profits to reinvest in modernization. Look at how Deutsche Post has thrived. -Bloomberg View 

Emirates Airlines helps to rescue Airbus with substantial order -France24


OPEC's Casual Relationship With Hedge Funds Oil speculators are helping the cartel, but at a price -Bloomberg Gadfly 

Oil’s Uncertain Comeback Unless there is a notable geopolitical shock, traditional oil producers should treat the recent oil-price gains as a temporary windfall, not a permanent state of affairs. To prolong the price recovery as long as possible, they should reinforce their collective production discipline. -Project Syndicate

Greece secures billions as bailout enters final stages Eurozone finance ministers have reached a "political agreement" to grant Greece €6.7 billion in bailout money. The ministers praised Greece's progress, putting it on track to leave its bailout program this year. -DW