EU antitrust regulators order Apple to pay up to 13 billion euros in taxes, plus interest, to the Irish government after ruling that a special scheme to route profits through Ireland was illegal state aid. The scheme meant that Apple paid tax rates on European profits on sales of its iPhone and other devices and services of between just 0.005 percent in 2014 and 1 percent in 2003. The demand, 40 times bigger than the previous known demand by the European Commission to a company in such a case, could be reduced if other countries seek more tax from the company. Apple and the Irish government say they willl appeal the decision,.
Speaking at a cultural festival in Romania, Hungarian PM Orban, says the European Union is not doing enough to defend citizens from refugees from Africa. Hungary has registered more than 80,000 illegal migrants so far this year, nearly double the number for all of last year, according to official data. Orban says that mass immigration will deteriorate European lifestyles, cultures, and values, and blames illegal migrants for rising crime rates and economic problems.
For us, today Europe is at stake. The survival, disappearance or, more precisely, the transformation beyond recognition of the European citizen’s lifestyle, European values and the European nations. The question now is not only what kind of Europe we Hungarians would like to live in. Rather, will all that we now call Europe exist at all?..It is clear that we can’t filter out the hostile terrorists in the huge crowds. We would like for Europe to keep belonging to the Europeans. We want to preserve the Hungarian Hungary…The really serious threats are arriving not from the war zones … but from the depths of Africa. Northern Africa today can no longer defend Europe from the immense masses of people.
After an 18-month investigation, the European Union issues anti-trust lawsuit against Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros, as well as Britain and Ireland’s Sky TV. The suit specifically calls into question copyright laws which allow Hollywood studios to sell their content individually to national markets, creating a divided European market in defiance of EU rules, according to the commission. Specifically, subscribers to the Sky TV’s network of channels are blocked from accessing its offerings of films and TV series outside Britain and Ireland. Competition Commissioner Vestager:
European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channels of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU. Our EU economy Internet antitrust investigation shows that they cannot do this today. We believe that this may be in breach of EU competition rules. The studios and Sky UK now have the chance to respond to our concerns.
NBC and Warner said they were in talks with the Commission. Fox declined to comment.
The European Union approves the Iran nuclear deal. The deal lifts EU economic sanctions against Tehran, but keeps sanctions in place on human rights violations, and bans the supply of ballistic missile technology. Iran offers alternate energy supplies for Europe. The European Union may reopen an EU delegation in Tehran and is seeking business opportunities in the country. French foreign minister:
It is a balanced deal that means Iran won’t get an atomic bomb. It is a major political deal.
Austria’s Foreign Minister:
The Iran deal has a geopolitical impact and also an economic impact on the European Union.
The European Union is investigating the transfer of data from European Facebook users to advertisers in the United States. If found against, Facebook could face fines and be forced to change their privacy settings. French data protection regulator:
Obviously, there are privacy issues, this investigation is only to determine the extent.
Burundian opposition leaders call for the EU to suspend €8m of financial assistance and to demand that the government postpone the election. The EU is the main financial contributor to the Project to Support the 2015 Electoral Cycle in Burundi. Alliance for Democratic Change (ADC-IKIBIRI) spokesperson:
We believe the EU’s €8m is a considerable sum. It is shocking that the EU is financing these elections which are killing people, forcing voters of the opposition to flee the country like refugees…It would be unacceptable for the European taxpayer to agree that €8m, which can be used for something else, should be thrown in the trash like that. If these elections are forced to happen, there will be a civil war…Radios have been closed, human rights activists have been imprisoned and these prisoners are refused food and care, are being tortured to the indifference of the international community. The violation of these values must be unacceptable for Europeans partners.
Judges in the European Union uphold EU sanctions against Mohammad Makhlouf, an uncle of Assad, dismissing his request to be removed from a list of Syrian figures banned from entering the EU and whose assets in the bloc are frozen. The court dismisses an argument that the sanctions breached ‘s right to privacy on the grounds that it prevents him from maintaining his family’s standard of living.
The Council has succeeded in proving that Mr. Makhlouf is a member of the ruling economic class in Syria and it cannot be denied that he maintains links with the regime and has a decisive influence, as a principal adviser, over all the primary circle of rulers of the Syrian regime and, in particular, over his sons…The right to privacy is not intended to protect the individual against a loss of his purchasing power,
The European Union commission issues and estimating economy adjustment bill to Britain. Prime Minister Cameron states that Britain refuses to pay the bill along with and investigation underway to reveal how such a figure came about. Since 1995, Britain’s economy performance did better than other EU states. Speaking in Brussels, Cameron:
This is completely unacceptable. It is an unacceptable way for this organization to work – to suddenly present a bill like this for such a vast sum of money with so little time to pay it. And it is an unacceptable way to treat one of the biggest contributors to the European Union. It is an appalling way to behave. I am not paying that bill on December 1. If people think I am they have got another thing coming. This organization shouldn’t be surprised if it behaves in its way if its members say it has to change.
Newsweek devotes its cover story to Jewish emigration from Europe, which it says is being driven by anti-Semitism. Author Adam LeBor:
The mob howled for vengeance, the missiles raining down on the synagogue walls as the worshippers huddled inside. It was a scene from Europe in the 1930s – except this was eastern Paris on the evening of July 13th, 2014. LeBor says the 2014 Gaza conflict is partly to blame, but the rise in ‘the world’s oldest hatred’ predates the war:
One weekend in May seemed to epitomise the darkness. On May 24th a gunman pulled out a Kalashnikov assault rifle at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and opened fire, killing four people. The next day the results of the elections to the European parliament showed a surge in support for extreme-right parties in France, Greece, Hungary and Germany.
American Jewish journalist Jeffrey Goldberg:
At what point do the Jews of America and the Jews of Israel tell the Jews of Europe that it might be time to get out?
The Commission criticizes Apple for not offering “concrete and immediate” plans to stop users from being misled by “free” apps. Many popular apps in the company’s app store are free to download but are designed to tempt users to pay for upgrades or in-game enhancements to allow quicker progression. The Commission now forces the biggest vendors of apps, Apple and Google, to make the “true cost” of games clear, but singles out Apple for its failure to make a commitment to change. Apple, however, says it is doing “more than others’ to protect parents by giving the latter more control over what their kids can buy on its app store.
European Commission: CPC [consumer protection co-operation] authorities will continue to engage with Apple to ensure that it provides specific details of changes required and put its practices into line with the common position.
European Union foreign ministers agrees to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe, and to withdraw EU election monitors still in the country. Officials say the EU will cut off 128m euros in development aid.
The EU remains seriously concerned at political violence, serious violations of human rights and restrictions on the media …which call into question the prospects for a free and fair election.
Portugal and Greece are reported to have opposed the imposition of sanctions and to have favoured the continued pressure of EU monitors inside Zimbabwe.