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India’s Jet Airlines temporarily suspends all flights, 20.000 jobs put at risk

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Troubled Indian carrier Jet Airways has temporarily suspended all its domestic and international flights after failing to after failing to secure emergency funding from the country’s banks.

The airline has been struggling for months to stay in business and the announcement follows weeks of speculation over its fate.

“This has been a very difficult decision but without interim funding, the airline is simply unable to conduct flight operations,” Jet Airways said in statement Wednesday.

The company described the suspension of flights operations as temporary, but the absence of funding puts more than 20,000 jobs at risk.

The airline said its last flight would operate on Wednesday as it was not able to pay for fuel and other critical services. Jet Airways said it had no choice but to suspend the flights, but hopes to start flying again.

“Above all, the airline would like to express its sincere gratitude to all its employees and stakeholders that have stood by the company in these trying times,” it said in its statement.

Passengers would be informed about the closure via email and text messages, and would be able to claim a refund, it added. The airline’s operations had already shrunk to 40 flights on five aircraft by Tuesday, according to local media.

The carrier has $1.2 billion debt and has been in talks with lenders for weeks. Jet Airways, which has 123 planes, was once India’s biggest private airline, but reports say that just five planes have been in use.

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Economy

EBRD appoints Andi Aranitasi Head of North Macedonia

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has appointed Andi Aranitasi new Head of North Macedonia. Based in the capital Skopje he will succeed Anca Ioana Ionescu from 1 September, the bank said in a statement.

Aranitasi joined the EBRD in London in 1998 and worked for the Bank in Bulgaria from 2000 to 2005 as a banker. Among periods with teams covering Central Europe, Western Balkans, Telecoms and Power and Energy, he spent seven years based in Istanbul working in energy projects in Europe and Asia. He has spent the past two and a half years in Bulgaria, also focusing on energy projects.

After completing high school in his native Albania, Aranitasi won an Open Society Foundation scholarship to the American University in Bulgaria, graduating in 1996. He then joined the EBRD.

“What I want to do in North Macedonia is to continue the job the team has done so far, when it comes to connectivity, infrastructure and energy projects, and also to increase the share of the Bank’s private business,” he said.

To date, the EBRD has invested more than €1.87 billion in 117 projects in the Republic of North Macedonia, focusing on supporting the country’s integration into regional and global markets through the EBRD’s investments and other activities. For more than five years, the EBRD has been represented in North Macedonia by Anca Ioana Ionescu.

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Economy

EU Economic and Financial Dialogue with Western Balkan and Turkey

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The annual Economic and Financial Dialogue with the EU, the Western Balkans and Turkey will take place today in Brussels.

North Macedonia’s National Bank President Anita Angelovska-Bezoska and Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski will take part in the economic and financial dialogue between the EU, the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Representatives of the EU Member States, the Western Balkans and Turkey, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, as well as representatives of the central banks of the Western Balkans and Turkey meet once a year for their annual economic policy dialogue.

The dialogue on economic governance with the Western Balkans and Turkey is meant to prepare them for their future participation in the EU economic policy coordination. Ownership is key to achieve the results envisioned in the Economic Reform Programmes and the below jointly agreed policy guidance. The dialogue reflects to some extent the European Semester process at EU level.

This year’s dialogue will include evaluation of fulfilment of EU guidelines on the Economic Reform Programmes (ERPs).

The submitted 2018 Economic Reform Programmes (ERPs) of the Western Balkans and Turkey outline the medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework as well as structural reforms (affecting areas such as labour markets and education, energy, innovation and the business environment) to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth. The programmes cover the period 2018-2020.

Participants are expected to recall the commitment to set out a new set of targeted policy guidance to support efforts towards fulfilling the Copenhagen economic criteria.

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Economy

Renault makes offer to merge with Nissan

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French carmaker Renault SA has again made a formal offer to merge with Nisan Motor Co, under a holding company structure, Japanese broadcaster TBS reported on Monday, citing a source close to the matter.

Nissan rejected the proposal made in mid-April, the source said late Monday, adding that French government, Renault’s biggest shareholder, made a similar offer in January after the alliance was rocked by the arrest of Ghosn in November.

The rejection could jeopardize the recent momentum for improving ties between the two companies.

Renault, Nissan’s largest shareholder, is seeking to further solidify its partnership with the Japanese company, which contributes about half of the French automaker’s net profit.

But some Nissan executives view the partnership balance as unfair as Nissan has been seeking an equal capital relationship with Renault.

Renault holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, which has a 15 percent stake in the French firm without voting rights. Nissan sold 5.65 million vehicles worldwide last year, 1.5 times more than Renault.

Talks have been ongoing since Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard first made an informal proposal to Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa in April, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions aren’t public. Nissan rebuffed the idea then and has continued to oppose it, the person said.

News of the talks comes as Nissan is set to report on Tuesday its lowest annual operating profit in a decade, hurt by slumping U.S. sales, aging models and a product cycle that’s out of sync. The merger proposal came after the most tumultuous few months in the companies’ two-decade partnership, which was shaken by the shock arrest of the alliance’s chief architect and former chairman, Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan declined to comment on the discussions. Representatives for Renault didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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