R&D – Scientists in Spain have reported the first self-healing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself without any intervention. The new material could be used to improve the security and lifetime of plastic parts in everyday products such as electrical components, cars and even houses.
The polymer behaves as a Velcro-like sealant or adhesive, displaying an impressive 97% healing efficiency in just two hours. The researchers show that after cutting the material into two separate pieces with a razor blade and allowing it to self-heal, the material is unbreakable when stretched manually. more> http://tinyurl.com/ole9965
By Jonathan Cable and Kim Coghill – Euro zone factories sank deeper into recession in December as new orders tumbled, business surveys showed on Wednesday (Jan 2), a sharp contrast to continuing signs of revival in China.
“It’s pretty grim really,” said Jonathan Loynes at Capital Economics. “These surveys are pointing to a pretty deep recession. If the German industrial sector is contracting quite sharply it is pretty hard to see where growth across the euro zone as a whole is going to come from.”
Germany, Europe‘s largest economy, saw its crucial manufacturing sector shrink for the 10th straight month and at a faster pace, while French data showed a decline in all but one of the past 17 months. The slump in Spain deepened, while Italy’s index, although improved, remained below 50 for the 17th month. more> http://tinyurl.com/bkoxzz8
Posted in Business, Economy
Tagged Business, China, Eurozone, Germany, Industrial economy, Italy, Manufacturing, Recession, Spain, Super regions
SLIDE SHOW (14)
By Carlos Ruano and Andrei Khalip – Police and protesters clashed in Spain on Wednesday (Nov 14) as millions of workers went on strike across Europe to protest spending cuts they say have made the economic crisis worse.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled, car factories and ports were at a standstill and trains barely ran in Spain and Portugal where unions held their first ever coordinated general strike. more> http://tinyurl.com/agbpp5h
Posted in Business, Economy
Tagged Automotive industry, European Union, Financial crisis, General strike, Government, Iberian Peninsula, Industrial economy, Portugal, Spain, Super regions
By Peter Gumbel – The latest unemployment statistics released this week on both sides of the Atlantic show that the number of jobless is continuing to rise in Europe (pdf) far above the rate in the U.S., and the picture is especially bleak for young Europeans under the age of 25. In the 27 E.U. nations as a whole, the youth unemployment rate rose to 22.8% in September, up from 21.7% the previous year. In Greece and Spain, that proportion is over 50%. In the U.S., meanwhile, the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged in October, at 7.9%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Nov. 2. And the U.S. rate of unemployment among young people under 25 was 16%. more> http://tinyurl.com/acye3od
By Angelika Stricker and Luke Baker – German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised new hurdles on Friday (Oct 19) to using the euro zone‘s rescue fund to inject capital directly into ailing banks from next year, dashing Spain’s hopes of soon removing the cost from its strained national debt. more> http://tinyurl.com/8phpx73
By John O’Donnell – Concerns are growing among European investors and lawmakers that plans for a eurozone banking union will end up half-baked, with the financial backstops required to underpin the ambitious scheme unlikely to be in place for years.
“Originally the idea of a banking union was to have deposit guarantees to stop the outflow of money from Spain,” said Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament‘s influential economic and monetary affairs committee.
“But they are shying away from mutualization and all you are left with is supervision, which if left on its own would have more drawbacks than benefits. It could split the (EU) single market.” more> http://tinyurl.com/9mmttj3
By Alan Wheatley – The euro zone is finally getting a move on and slinging a safety net under the single currency. If only it were making as much headway in correcting the economic imbalances that made a rescue plan necessary in the first place.
The European Central Bank has bought time for the euro with a scheme for secondary-market purchases of bonds of countries such as Spain if they are shunned by investors. And the European Stability Mechanism is set to buy the debt as it is auctioned, after Germany‘s top court approved the establishment of the permanent rescue fund. Immediate market pressure has subsided. more> http://tinyurl.com/8nk2lhu
Posted in Banking, Economy, Leadership
Tagged Alan Wheatley, Capital, Euro, European Central Bank, European Stability Mechanism, European Union, Germany, Monetary policy, Spain, Super regions