Ford’s plan to keep up with its biggest rivals from the industry

The new chief of Ford has revealed the plan the American carmaker has to keep up with the changes in the industry, informs the BBC.

Jim Hackett has announced that Ford will move their traditional cars resources for SUV’s and trucks and at the same time, invest in electric cars and technology services.

The US manufacturer will also automatize technology processes, resulting in a $14 billion cost reduction.

Hackett introduced the targets after 100 days of assessing the situation at Ford.

He became head of the company in May, after replacing Mark Fields, who served for three years.

The last two years of the three were the most profitable in the company’s history, but the share price fell.

Investors have been concerned that Ford is not moving fast enough in markets like China and electric and autonomous cars to keep up with the competition.

Hackett says the automaker needs to automatize, simplify production processes and invest $7 billion in successful products such as SUV’s or trucks that have led the US sales top this year.

Ford also wants to further modernize its cars, and by 2020 90% of its vehicles can be easily connected to phones and other mobile devices.

The American manufacturer also wants to expand on other business areas such as medical or commodity transportation and car rental.

Ford is already operating a shuttle bus between four US cities called Chariot and plans to extend this niche by the end of next year.

In this regard, the company has signed agreements with several cities around the world, including Mumbai.

Hackett explained that Ford has not so far focused on electric cars because of high costs. But there are partnerships in this area, such as Zotye in China, where the government has asked for a certain share of electric cars on sale.

Ford has high hopes in China, but it is watching closely what is happening in Europe, where the affairs of Americans have been affected by Brexit and the sterling of the pound.

Spain assures the clients and businessmen who deposited their finances in Catalonia’s banks, their money is safe

The Spanish Minister of Economy has assured the clients of all Catalan banks and businessmen from the region their savings are safe amid the crisis from Catalonia, in which the region is struggling to declare its independence from Spain by the end of this week, reports Reuters.

“Catalan banks are Spanish banks and European banks, they are solid and their customers have nothing to fear”, assured Luis de Guindos during a conference in Madrid.

Guindos also commented on Spain’s King Felipe VI’s Tuesday evening speech, accusing separatist leaders of violating the principles of democracy that divided the Catalan society, claiming it was “fair and clear.”

Meanwhile, in Barcelona and other cities from Catalonia street demonstrations and general strikes paralyzed the entire province.

Separatist leaders promise that independence will be proclaimed by the end of this week, following a referendum in which 90% of those voted for self-determination.

The roads were blocked, Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia was closed, and the FC Barcelona team took a break from their training sessions.

Called by the main trade unions in order to paralyze this region with 7.5 million inhabitants, hundreds of thousands of people mobilized in the demonstrations including students, firefighters or simple citizens frustrated by Sunday violence and how the Spanish Government of Mariano Rajoy managed the crisis.

Russian Money, still invested in German companies













Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was appointed as one of Rosneft’s board members, as the Russian oil giant is trying to develop its operations in Germany.

Meanwhile, several other Russian companies are also investing in this country despite the ban imposed by the global organizations, writes Deutsche Welle.

After working for the Russian company Gazprom for many years, Schroeder is currently occupying a top position at Rosneft.

The shareholders of the largest Russian oil company have appointed Schroeder as the new chairman, while the company is controlled by the Russian state.

Commenting on this announcement, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said Schroeder contributed to the development of projects involving Russia and Germany, now having the mission to promote Rosneft in the entire Europe.

In January this year, Rosneft took control of a refinery in the German city of Schwedt and obtained minority stake in two other refineries from southern Germany.

The company also opened a representative office in Berlin in May, announcing an investment of 600 million euros.

Rosneft and Gazprom energy giants account for more than half of Russian total investment in Germany, said Ullrich Umann, a Russian business expert from Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI).

In addition to the two companies, approximately 1.770 Russian-owned firms are also based in Germany.

When it comes to statistical data, the German central bank published earlier this year an information related to the foreign direct investment.

“As soon as a Russian company owns 10% of the shares, the Russians obtain a voting right in a German company and that company must report to the central bank”, explains Andreas Bilfinger of GTAI.

According to recent data, Russian investments in Germany have advanced from less than 2.6 billion euros in 2011 to 3.46 billion in 2015.

Russian and Ukrainian moguls “buy” European citizenship from Cyprus

A large group of Russian and Ukrainian billionaires, accused of corruption, are among the hundreds of people who have acquired European passports under a “premium” visa system.

According to The Guardian, starting with 2013, the Cypriot government would have earned more than four billion dollars by granting citizenship to foreign moguls, thus giving them the right to live and work in the European Union for a certain amount of money.

Only in 2016, the Government of Cyprus would have issued over 400 such passports.

The Guardian journalists consulted a list of hundreds of names, including influential businesspeople and powerful politicians such as a former Russian parliamentarian or the founders of the largest investment Ukrainian bank.

Another benefactor of this privileged system would be an art collector who bought the US President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach villa, as well as a Syrian businessman from President Bashar al-Assad’s entourage.

Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, was targeted by the US security agencies in 2008 after being accused of corruption.

In 2010, the Government of Cyprus granted him the citizenship. A year later, in the wake of the outbreak of civil war in Syria, his citizenship was withdrawn.

Billionaire art collector Dmitry Rybolovlev came to the attention of international media after meeting with Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.

In 2005, Trump paid $41 million for a villa in Palm Beach, which he sold to a Russian businessman three years later with $95 million.

He was granted citizenship in 2012 and, according to Forbes, his fortune is estimated to $7.4 billion.

Greece, to escape the financial crisis of 8 years

Greece crisis

Greece has made another step further in the process of ending the 2009 financial crisis

According to the Financial Times, the European Union has confirmed that Athens is no longer in the “hole” of the euro area.

The decision was expected for several months and symbolizes the end of the “excessive deficit procedure” that Brussels initiated eight years ago after the country’s economy collapsed.

“After many years of severe difficulties, Greece’s finances are in a much better place”, stated the Estonian Finance Minister Toomas Tõniste, the country that, in rotation, occupies the European Union’s presidency.

The decision will be welcomed in Athens as another step on the way of obtaining an economic normalization and to get out from the bailout program by August 2018.

A European Commission spokesman said the decision demonstrates that Greece “has kept its promises and has returned on a sustainable path”

The decision to close the Excessive Deficit Procedure recognizes that Greece’s budget deficit has fallen below the EU’s 3% of GDP ratio.

Thus, France and Spain remain the only countries in the euro area that are under the so-called “correction program” of the EU budget.