1. Neelie Kroes lobbied for Uber despite the European Commission’s ban
Former EU Commissioner and VVD celebrity Neelie Kroes lobbied for Uber in 2015, while it was banned by the European Commission because she had only been stopped as EU Commissioner for a few months. During that time, Uber had problems with the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate. It appears from Uber Files, documents held by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and The Guardian, to which FD, Trouw and the research platform Investico have access.
Emails from Uber lobbyists show that Kroes’ role was to “dampen tensions” around Uberpop, a new app that had been declared illegal by the Dutch government, and to “make confidential proposals to the government.” Kroes addressed politicians, including Prime Minister Rutte and Minister Henk Kamp, and senior officials. In a reply, Kroes says that shortly after her resignation as EU Commissioner, she had talks due to her position as Special Envoy for Startup Delta: ‘As Envoy, I was expected to interact with a wide range of companies, government and non-governmental organizations , to promote a business-friendly ecosystem. I had neither a formal nor an informal role at Uber until May 2016. ‘
Weak European economy pushes the euro to its lowest point in twenty years
The exchange rate of the euro will be pushed against one US dollar or parity in almost twenty years. The currency has fallen almost 11% against the dollar since the beginning of this year. The decline is primarily caused by the war in Ukraine and the impending energy crisis that follows. The rising interest rate spread also plays a major role. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) has already raised interest rates sharply, while the European Central Bank has not yet started. A depreciation of the euro pushes up inflation even more.
Businesses are not yet stopping en masse despite the cessation of corona aid
Fears that companies would collapse en masse after corona support stops have so far proved futile. A wave of companies shutting down, whether forced or not, seems elusive at the moment. This is what Professor of Entrepreneurship Joris Knoben tells NU.nl on the basis of figures from the Chamber of Commerce. Last month, 9,262 companies closed and in the second quarter of this year, 413 companies went bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies is still much smaller than in the years before the pandemic. Knoben also finds it a ‘positive surprise’ that the number of starters remains high.
4. SCP: employers miss out on opportunities in a tight labor market
Simply offering staff good pay and working conditions is no longer enough for employers to take advantage of all the opportunities in the labor market. It warns the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) after an investigation. For example, companies should make more use of opportunities such as reducing work pressure and the opportunity for training. The same applies to providing opportunities for people with a work disability and making it possible to work from home. “It is important that not only employees but also employers adapt to the current labor market,” SCP researcher Patricia van Echtelt told NOS.
5. Venture investor Blackstone owns a new data center in Groningen
The American private equity company Blackstone becomes the owner of a new data center in Groningen. The Blackstone subsidiary QTS pays 9 million euros for state land in the common area of the port of Groningen Seaports. The arrival of the data center is a sensitive issue because much has gone administratively wrong in the last decade when Google came to Eemshaven. The Port Authority’s board agreed because QTS had previously made the sale a condition for the planned investment of 800 million euros in connection with the data center, writes NRC.
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6. To read: Uber broke laws, cheated police and lobbied governments
The Netherlands is not the only country where Uber tried to influence the government through lobbying. For example, Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz had to deal with this. It appears from a gigantic leak of more than 124,000 documents to The Guardian, the so-called Uber Files. In a shocking piece, The Guardian shows how the company also disregarded laws, tricked police and took advantage of violence against drivers between 2013 and 2017 to introduce Uber in cities around the world. At the time, Uber was led by co-founder Travis Kalanick.
7. By the coffee machine: Twitter and Musk are on their way to a lengthy lawsuit
Elon Musk actually waives the purchase of Twitter. He announced this on Friday. The takeover already seemed to be in doubt due to the number of fake accounts on the social media platform. Twitter says five percent of accounts are fake, but according to Musk, there are many more. Musk wanted Twitter to provide more information on this, but he says it has not happened. Twitter plans to take legal action. According to lawyers, it is doubtful whether Musk will win a lawsuit, writes The Financial Times. The Tesla boss is reportedly to pay Twitter $ 1 billion if the takeover does not go through.
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