The European Commission on Tuesday (6 July) endorsed an emergency budget presented by the UK government on 22 June, saying that it would “strengthen confidence” in the UK’s commitment “to putting its public finances back on a sustainable path”. The UK’s deficit in 2009 was 11.5% of gross domestic product, one of the highest in the EU. The Commission also said that Bulgaria should reduce its 3.9% deficit to 3% or below by 2011.
The Commission on Tuesday approved the takeover of Swedish carmaker Volvo by Geely, a Chinese carmaker, and Daqing, a state-owned Chinese investment firm. The Commission said that the takeover would not significantly affect competition.
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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday rejected a case brought by the biotechnology company Monsanto, which argued that its rights were infringed by shipments of soyabeans from Argentina containing a DNA sequence patented by Monsanto. The court ruled that the presence of the DNA sequence was not enough to infringe Monsanto’s patent.
The ECJ on Tuesday upheld a decision made by the Commission in 2007 preventing the Irish airline Ryanair taking over Aer Lingus, a rival carrier. The court said that the combined company would have a near-monopolistic position on routes to and from major Irish airports.
The Commission on Monday (5 July) published a report in which it criticised the retail sector in the EU for a lack of pricing transparency, use of spurious quality labels, “potentially abusive contractual practices”, and “unsatisfactory functioning” of labour markets.