There can only be one winner in the great Safeway sell-off

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Jeremy Woolfe: British officials fret over EU pension obligations

first_imgFurther reinforcing the position of British personnel is Article 83 of the EU staff regulations, which states that “benefits paid under this pension scheme shall be charged to the budget of the Union”, while member states “shall jointly guarantee payment of such benefits”.Félix Géradon, of the Union Syndicale, the major union for public-service employees, thus says that one could imagine the remaining EU member states could well request that the UK assume some responsibility for the overall pension expenditure, as part of the ultimate Brexit agreement.As for background figures, the total annual outgoings towards pension payouts for all national groups and for all the EU institutions are estimated, by the Commission, at more than €1.6bn for this year. It is on this – and on the basis that UK participation in the total head-count is low (3.8% in the Commission itself, for example) – that the annual €16.4m pension cost for Brits is based.When it comes to capital liability, according to a Commission source, the EU officials’ pension scheme functions as a “notional fund”, not as a pay-as-you-go scheme. Hence, the argument is, if the liability were to be handed over to a fund, it would have been, for 2014, €58bn. This pension liability is as calculated annually under the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (Ipsas-25). Along the same lines, the total proportion of capital liability for the UK appears to be around €2.2bn.  Evidence of anxiety among British pension beneficiaries, present and future – including, presumably, from Brits in the London-based European Banking Authority – is in the air. One senior British official in Brussels tells IPE that instructions had been sent to Commission staff not to answer questions from the press. And, unusually for him, he did not.Another commentator adds to the disquiet – a Commission retiree informs IPE that enforcement of any judgment, from the European Court of Justice would be beyond the remit of the court. Backing this up, the court itself states that it is up to the relevant member states to implement any ruling.Bearing this in mind, when it comes to the crunch, will the 27 national governments remaining in the EU take their payment-obligation position lying down? Will they agree, during forthcoming Brexit negotiations, to have their taxpayers support the “treacherous” interests of its British “adversary”? And could the opposite, then, apply to any future UK government as well?All of these unanswered questions would seem to justify British officials’ increasingly nervous nail-biting. Our man in Brussels wonders where the post-Brexit burden of UK officials’ pensions might lieFuture negotiations over the UK’s shock decision to leave the European Union (EU) could raise questions over annual payments and capital liability related to pensions for British citizens who work, or have worked, at the various EU institutions. On current estimates, the sums involved represent around €16.4m per year, or a capital total of something to the tune of €2.2bn.As a result, there exists some disquiet among the estimated 1,730 UK nationals now retired from EU institutions. Also involved are the existing British-citizen, EU employees with future pension claims. Their total head count is roughly the same, and includes a precise 1,164 currently working in the European Commission.The vital question is where the burden should fall following the finalisation of the Brexit process. From a legal point of view, the remaining EU 27 member states will have to continue paying the pensions of former staff. This position was supported by a recent letter from EC president Jean-Claude Juncker to British personnel, reassuring them that they “remain Union officials”. Martin Schultz, head of the European Parliament, related a similarly cosy message.last_img read more

Europa League: Arsenal held as Guimaraes grab last-gasp equaliser

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ David Silva recovers from COVID-19 Spurs to face Bulgarian minnows in Europa League opener Arsenal conceded a stoppage-time equaliser as they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Portugal’s Vitoria Guimaraes in Europa League Group F on Wednesday. The Premier League club looked to be on course for victory when defender Shkodran Mustafi headed home Nicolas Pepe’s 80th-minute free kick. However, Bruno Duarte struck from close range to end Arsenal’s 100 per cent record in the group. Arsenal’s fourth consecutive draw in all competitions will increase the pressure on Manager, Unai Emery, following a difficult week in which Granit Xhaka was also stripped of the captaincy. The English team still top the group standings on 10 points and will qualify for the last 32 of Europe’s second-tier club competition if Standard Liege lose to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday. Reuters/NAN.Tags: Europa Leaguelast_img read more

Sarajevo Half- Marathon for Ecological Awareness: around 1300 Participants Running in Sarajevo

first_imgAround 1300 participants which is a record number so far participates in today’s 8th Sarajevo half-marathon, the biggest international sports manifestation in B&H – by Anadolija.This event was organized on occasion of the International Car free day so it contributes the ecological awareness of the participants and the citizens.“This year, around 1300 participants came, which is a record of all editions we organized so far. Novo Nordisk Fun Run race/walk of 4 kilometres gathered over 500 participants while at the start of the Sarajevo Sperbank half-marathon there is around 750 participants.” – pointed out the director of the Association Maraton Sarajevo, Erol Mujanović and added that the number of this event’s participants is increased from year to year.“The number of marathon lovers in B&H is increased, and this year participants from even 30 different countries of the world joined us” – said Mujanović.He emphasized that a great number of citizens is interested in running and healthy living so that a great number of those who do it just for recreation is present too.The paticipants started at Trg djece Sarajeva and the sign to start was given by the Ambassador of Spain in B&H Maria Aurora Mejia Eraskin.According to the organizer’s words, the participants will run for an hour, and pass through almost all parts of Sarajevo during that time.“They will be running through the centre of the city, through Old Town, Vilson’s promenade and at the stadium Koševo.” – said Mujanović and added this route is chosen according to the world standards and is very attractive.When it comes to prizes, the first three places will be awarded financially while all participants of the race will receive t-shirts and medals after the race.“That way, all participants will have a nice souvenir from Sarajevo” – said Mujanović.(Source: Oslobođenje / photo: Anadolija)last_img read more