#AceFinanceNews reports that Ukraine’s Acting Foreign Minister Andrey…

#AceFinanceNews reports that:

Ukraine’s Acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchytsa has said he is not going to dramatize the situation over a possible reduction in Russian natural gas imports.

#afn2014, #ukaines

` Italy's ` Matteo Renzi 'off to a bad start as he is forced to amend his electoral reform '

#AceGuestNews and Views says that the author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist Neil Unmack

The opinions expressed are his own.

Matteo Renzi has been forced to amend his electoral reform. The result could mean that Italy will remain ungovernable. The new prime minister’s hand is weaker, even though the risk of early elections has subsided. And serious economic reforms will be harder.

The proposed electoral law, brokered with right-wing leader Silvio Berlusconi in January, promised to end the chaos of Italy’s current system, where the upper and lower houses of parliament carry equal weight but are elected according to different rules. That has made governments weak and ruling coalitions unstable. The 2013 elections were no exception, making Renzi’s centre-left party the largest – but short of a majority.

Italy’s politicians have feigned to want to change the system for years. They were finally forced to do something after the country’s Constitutional Court ruled they had to. Renzi’s proposal was to introduce a two-rounds ballot system, to create a clear winner in case of an ambiguous first-round vote. The upper house, the Senate, was to be stripped of its powers and restructured later on.

There was always a risk the law would be butchered in parliament. That may have been the reason why Renzi moved to oust his predecessor, Enrico Letta, last month. But now his own party has introduced changes to make the law only applicable to the lower house. Senators will be chosen through a proportional system. Different electoral systems for both houses could lead to deadlock. Renzi argues that it doesn’t matter since the Senate will be restructured anyway. But that could take years.

At least the risk of new, early elections has subsided somewhat. That could give the current coalition time to pass reforms, and allow Italy’s parties right and left to regroup after the turmoil of recent years. Yet immobilism has a cost. Renzi is now weaker in the eyes of both voters and politicians. Having seized power through a palace coup, he can’t seek electoral backing for his reform agenda. And he can’t use the threat of an election to cajole other politicians into accepting tough reforms.

The electoral law was to be just the first of Renzi’s great reforms: he also wants to shake up labour laws and the judiciary to revive Italy’s flagging economy. His first misstep won’t make that easier.

Italy’s politicians have feigned to want to change the system for years. They were finally forced to do something after the country’s Constitutional Court ruled they had to. Renzi’s proposal was to introduce a two-rounds ballot system, to create a clear winner in case of an ambiguous first-round vote. The upper house, the Senate, was to be stripped of its powers and restructured later on.

There was always a risk the law would be butchered in parliament. That may have been the reason why Renzi moved to oust his predecessor, Enrico Letta, last month. But now his own party has introduced changes to make the law only applicable to the lower house. Senators will be chosen through a proportional system. Different electoral systems for both houses could lead to deadlock. Renzi argues that it doesn’t matter since the Senate will be restructured anyway. But that could take years.

At least the risk of new, early elections has subsided somewhat. That could give the current coalition time to pass reforms, and allow Italy’s parties right and left to regroup after the turmoil of recent years. Yet immobillism has a cost. Renzi is now weaker in the eyes of both voters and politicians. Having seized power through a palace coup, he can’t seek electoral backing for his reform agenda. And he can’t use the threat of an election to cajole other politicians into accepting tough reforms.

The electoral law was to be just the first of Renzi’s great reforms: he also wants to shake up labour laws and the judiciary to revive Italy’s flagging economy. His first misstep won’t make that easier.

By Neil Unmack

#AFN2014

#acefinancenews, #enrico-letta, #italy, #matteo-renzi, #neil-unmack

` RWE still regards `Gazprom ' as reliable trading partner even with all the unrest in the Ukraine '

#AceFinanceNews says that Germany’s second-largest utility company, RWE, still regards Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom as a reliable trading partner despite the political situation in Ukraine, an RWE spokesman told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“Discussions at the political level are being held at the moment,” the spokesman said. “We have always known Gazprom as a trusted partner. We do not want to make any forecasts for future events we cannot predict.”

RWE is one of Gazprom’s biggest European partners in natural gas supplies. In June 2013, an arbitral tribunal in Vienna granted RWE’s request for a revision of the purchase price payable by RWE for the natural gas supplied under its long-term gas supply contract with Gazprom.

In 2013, Gazprom also agreed to adjust the terms and conditions for Russian natural gas supplies to Italy’s energy company ENI.

Moscow – March 07, 20:42 /ITAR-TASS/.

#ANS2014

#eni, #gazprom, #moscow, #rwe, #vienna

` China-Russia Trade was $5.9 billion grows by 3.2 Percent year on year’

#AceFinanceNews says that the trade between China and Russia in February of the current year was 5.9 billion dollars, where the growth is 3.2 percent year-on year, Zheng Yuesheng of China’s customs authority said on Saturday.

In February, the export to Russia grew by three percent to 2.4 billion dollars, and the import to China grew by 3.3 percent to 3.5 billion dollars, he said.

China’s foreign trade in February made 251.18 billion dollars – 4.8-percent decline year-on-year.

The export reduced by 18.1 percent to 114.1 billion dollars, and the import grew by 10.1 percent to 137.08 billion dollars.
China’s foreign trade deficit in February was 22.98 billion dollars against the surplus of 14.8 billion dollars in February 2013.

“The deficit in China’s foreign trade in February is due to the celebration of the Chinese New Year – the Spring Festival,” he continued.

“We registered similar situations in February 2012 and in March 2013.”
China’s trade with the EU in February grew by 9.2 percent to 34.5 billion dollars, and with the US – by 7.8 percent to 32.74 billion dollars.

#AFN2014 

March 08, /ITAR-TASS/.

 

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#acefinancenews, #beijing, #china, #chinese-new-year, #european-union, #export, #february, #information-telegraph-agency-of-russia, #international-trade, #russia, #united-states