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Seven & I Holdings
12 июля 2016, 12:20

Стимулы Абэ не действуют, экспортерам грозят убытки

Курс иены продолжает снижаться после обвала накануне в ожидании новых стимулов со стороны правительства Японии во главе с премьер-министром Синдзо Абэ. Тем не менее, по-прежнему сохраняется риск снижения прибыли японских экспортеров из-за сильной иены.

12 июля 2016, 12:20

Стимулы Абэ не действуют, экспортерам грозят убытки

Курс иены продолжает снижаться после обвала накануне в ожидании новых стимулов со стороны правительства Японии во главе с премьер-министром Синдзо Абэ. Тем не менее по-прежнему сохраняется риск снижения прибыли японских экспортеров из-за сильной иены.

30 марта 2016, 00:28

Quote of the Day › The criteria used to determine the next CEO should be competence and the ability to run this company successfully, not family ties or preserving the Suzuki family dynasty.

Activist investor Daniel Loeb, urging Japanese retailer Seven & I Holdings to shut more unprofitable department stores and cautioning the company against nepotism in choosing a successor to Chief Executive Toshifumi Suzuki, who is 83. (Bloomberg)

23 июля 2014, 16:43

McDonald's Meat Scandal Leads To Detainment Of 5 People In China

SHANGHAI/LANGFANG, China, July 23 (Reuters) - Shanghai police said on Wednesday they detained five people in an investigation into a Chinese-based supplier of foreign fast-food brands including KFC and McDonald's Corp over allegations the firm supplied out-of-date meat. The five detained include the head of the company - Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC - and the firm's quality manager, the police said in an online statement. It gave no other details. McDonald's, Yum Brands Inc, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, and coffee chain Starbucks Corp are among global brands to have pulled products from their outlets after it emerged that Shanghai Husi supplied expired meat to clients in China, as well as Japan, in the latest in a series of food safety scandals in the country. Earlier, the official Xinhua news agency cited the Shanghai food and drug watchdog as saying that food safety violations at Shanghai Husi were company-led rather than the acts of individuals. "We discovered that some of the company's illegal behaviour was not the behaviour of individuals, but rather an organised arrangement by the company," Xinhua reported Gu Zhenhua, deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration, as saying. Illinois-based OSI has said it was "appalled" and was investigating the matter after a Chinese TV report on Sunday showed staff at its Shanghai Husi facility using expired meat and picking up meat from the floor to add to the mix. An official at OSI in China reached by telephone on Wednesday declined to comment further. DIFFERENT STANDARDS Huang Denggang, 20, worked as a night cleaner at the Husi plant, a modern warehouse compound in a Shanghai suburb, for more than a year, but doesn't plan to return when it re-opens because of lower-than-expected pay and a medical claim. He told Reuters on Wednesday that he saw workers pick up raw meat from the floor and put it back into processing containers. "I've seen them pick meat pieces off the floor, though I can't say I know anything about expired meat because I'm not involved in that part of the factory," he said at a local job agency where he works during the day. He showed Reuters his Husi payslip as verification of his employment there. "The leader didn't say anything when you throw it back. When the raw meat falls out of a container from inside, you just pick it up and put it back," he recalled, adding he also saw some workers not wear gloves while handling raw meat. "If you wear gloves, maybe it slows you down if you want to pick up the chicken pieces because they're slippery. But again I don't work in that part of the factory. But I've seen them doing that (not wearing gloves)," he said. Another Husi worker, who gave only the surname Zhang, said by telephone that he worked on the production line breaking up chicken into pieces. He said he quit because of the low pay. "When it (raw meat) drops, they usually don't see it, and even if they do it was fine to pick it up and put it back," he said. "There was an attitude of 'it doesn't really matter'." The former workers' comments contrasted with what one worker at another of OSI's food processing plants in Langfang in the northern Chinese province of Hebei told Reuters. He said that regulations there were very strict, all workers need to wear special clothes, and spot checks were often held unannounced. "The inspections are done by everyone: our own company, the government and also clients like McDonald's. Our rules are very strict and food safety standards are very high," said the worker, surnamed Wei, as he took a break at a nearby supermarket. He added the Hebei factory, which processes meat, vegetables and flour products according to its website, was still open for business despite ongoing government inspections. "DOCTORED RECORDS" Xinhua also cited the Shanghai food watchdog's deputy head Gu as saying that Shanghai Husi's controls systems and records for suspected products violated Chinese regulations. In the Dragon TV documentary on Sunday, staff at the Shanghai Husi facility said they kept two record books related to food products, one of which was doctored to be shown to anyone who came to audit the facility. According to the report, which claimed to show an inspection of the facility by McDonald's, Shanghai Husi staff were aware a day in advance of the visit and made sure that only compliant products were being processed on the day. Separately, the Shanghai food watchdog said it had sealed more than 1,000 tonnes of suspected meat products from OSI in China, and a further 100 tonnes of products from a range of its customers. In Japan, a spokesman for Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd said a licensee in Shanghai had been selling two hamburger products using meat supplied by Shanghai Husi. Both products were removed from outlets on Monday. A spokeswoman for FamilyMart Co Ltd said the Japanese convenience store chain had begun a supply deal with Shanghai Husi this month, selling a "Garlic Nugget" product at its around 10,000 stores in Japan. Another product, "Popcorn Chicken" began test-sales mainly in Tokyo this week. Sales of both products were halted on Tuesday. The company said there were no reports of any customers falling sick from the products. "I am deeply sorry for causing this trouble and worry to all those involved," FamilyMart President Isamu Nakayama told reporters in Tokyo. "We do not think there is any problem with our operating structure but the very fact that this happened means that I think that additional checks should be put into place to help reassure consumers." On Tuesday, McDonald's Holdings Co (Japan) Ltd said the company had sourced about a fifth of its Chicken McNuggets from Shanghai Husi and had halted sales of the product on Monday. (Additional reporting by Ran Kim, Shimizu Ritsuko and Olivier Fabre in TOKYO and Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

23 июля 2014, 16:43

McDonald's Meat Scandal Leads To Detainment Of 5 People In China

SHANGHAI/LANGFANG, China, July 23 (Reuters) - Shanghai police said on Wednesday they detained five people in an investigation into a Chinese-based supplier of foreign fast-food brands including KFC and McDonald's Corp over allegations the firm supplied out-of-date meat. The five detained include the head of the company - Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC - and the firm's quality manager, the police said in an online statement. It gave no other details. McDonald's, Yum Brands Inc, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, and coffee chain Starbucks Corp are among global brands to have pulled products from their outlets after it emerged that Shanghai Husi supplied expired meat to clients in China, as well as Japan, in the latest in a series of food safety scandals in the country. Earlier, the official Xinhua news agency cited the Shanghai food and drug watchdog as saying that food safety violations at Shanghai Husi were company-led rather than the acts of individuals. "We discovered that some of the company's illegal behaviour was not the behaviour of individuals, but rather an organised arrangement by the company," Xinhua reported Gu Zhenhua, deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration, as saying. Illinois-based OSI has said it was "appalled" and was investigating the matter after a Chinese TV report on Sunday showed staff at its Shanghai Husi facility using expired meat and picking up meat from the floor to add to the mix. An official at OSI in China reached by telephone on Wednesday declined to comment further. DIFFERENT STANDARDS Huang Denggang, 20, worked as a night cleaner at the Husi plant, a modern warehouse compound in a Shanghai suburb, for more than a year, but doesn't plan to return when it re-opens because of lower-than-expected pay and a medical claim. He told Reuters on Wednesday that he saw workers pick up raw meat from the floor and put it back into processing containers. "I've seen them pick meat pieces off the floor, though I can't say I know anything about expired meat because I'm not involved in that part of the factory," he said at a local job agency where he works during the day. He showed Reuters his Husi payslip as verification of his employment there. "The leader didn't say anything when you throw it back. When the raw meat falls out of a container from inside, you just pick it up and put it back," he recalled, adding he also saw some workers not wear gloves while handling raw meat. "If you wear gloves, maybe it slows you down if you want to pick up the chicken pieces because they're slippery. But again I don't work in that part of the factory. But I've seen them doing that (not wearing gloves)," he said. Another Husi worker, who gave only the surname Zhang, said by telephone that he worked on the production line breaking up chicken into pieces. He said he quit because of the low pay. "When it (raw meat) drops, they usually don't see it, and even if they do it was fine to pick it up and put it back," he said. "There was an attitude of 'it doesn't really matter'." The former workers' comments contrasted with what one worker at another of OSI's food processing plants in Langfang in the northern Chinese province of Hebei told Reuters. He said that regulations there were very strict, all workers need to wear special clothes, and spot checks were often held unannounced. "The inspections are done by everyone: our own company, the government and also clients like McDonald's. Our rules are very strict and food safety standards are very high," said the worker, surnamed Wei, as he took a break at a nearby supermarket. He added the Hebei factory, which processes meat, vegetables and flour products according to its website, was still open for business despite ongoing government inspections. "DOCTORED RECORDS" Xinhua also cited the Shanghai food watchdog's deputy head Gu as saying that Shanghai Husi's controls systems and records for suspected products violated Chinese regulations. In the Dragon TV documentary on Sunday, staff at the Shanghai Husi facility said they kept two record books related to food products, one of which was doctored to be shown to anyone who came to audit the facility. According to the report, which claimed to show an inspection of the facility by McDonald's, Shanghai Husi staff were aware a day in advance of the visit and made sure that only compliant products were being processed on the day. Separately, the Shanghai food watchdog said it had sealed more than 1,000 tonnes of suspected meat products from OSI in China, and a further 100 tonnes of products from a range of its customers. In Japan, a spokesman for Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd said a licensee in Shanghai had been selling two hamburger products using meat supplied by Shanghai Husi. Both products were removed from outlets on Monday. A spokeswoman for FamilyMart Co Ltd said the Japanese convenience store chain had begun a supply deal with Shanghai Husi this month, selling a "Garlic Nugget" product at its around 10,000 stores in Japan. Another product, "Popcorn Chicken" began test-sales mainly in Tokyo this week. Sales of both products were halted on Tuesday. The company said there were no reports of any customers falling sick from the products. "I am deeply sorry for causing this trouble and worry to all those involved," FamilyMart President Isamu Nakayama told reporters in Tokyo. "We do not think there is any problem with our operating structure but the very fact that this happened means that I think that additional checks should be put into place to help reassure consumers." On Tuesday, McDonald's Holdings Co (Japan) Ltd said the company had sourced about a fifth of its Chicken McNuggets from Shanghai Husi and had halted sales of the product on Monday. (Additional reporting by Ran Kim, Shimizu Ritsuko and Olivier Fabre in TOKYO and Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Выбор редакции
09 марта 2014, 01:22

Quote of the Day › Farm output will keep falling unless we take action. We want to bring on young farmers to become professional producers.

Yayoi Sugihara, a spokesman for convenience store chains Lawson Inc. Lawson and Seven & I Holdings Co are so sure Japan's aging farmers can't meet demand for fresh vegetables that they're investing in cropland and training young people to work the fields. (Bloomberg)

24 декабря 2013, 07:55

Japan's 7-Eleven kingpin looks to U.S. to inspire online revolution

The 81-year-old Japanese executive who built 7-Eleven into the world's biggest convenience store chain has a new mission: turning more than 50,000 bricks and mortar stores in Japan into portals to a new online retail empire. To do it, Toshifumi Suzuki, the chief executive of department store to mail order retailer Seven & I Holdings Co, is once again seeking inspiration in the United States. It's over 40 years since he kickstarted a revolution in Japanese retail by bringing 7-Eleven stores across the Pacific, eventually buying the U.S. owners after they sought bankruptcy protection. In Suzuki's future vision, goods ordered online from Seven & I's department stores and supermarkets, as well as outside partners, will be delivered to and picked up from the thousands of 7-Eleven stores spread across Japan at customers' convenience.

Выбор редакции
24 декабря 2013, 07:37

Japan's 7-Eleven kingpin looks to U.S. to inspire online revolution

* Seven & I Holdings CEO Suzuki shifts focus to e-commerce

Выбор редакции
07 октября 2013, 01:00

Business › Uniqlo, 7-Eleven entice thrifty shoppers with little luxuries

Cashmere sweaters at Uniqlo. Gourmet coffee and ice cream at 7-Eleven. These incongruously premium offerings by two of Japan's biggest retailers are part of a strategy to lift profit margins by enticing thrifty shoppers to splurge on little luxuries. Uniqlo brand owner Fast Retailing and Seven & I Holdings Co…

Выбор редакции
04 августа 2013, 01:09

Quote of the Day › American 7-Eleven has to do things that satisfy American consumers. So I don’t tell them to do things exactly how we do them in Japan.

Toshifumi Suzuki, CEO of Japan’s Seven & I Holdings Co. High on Suzuki’s to-do list is a renewed focus on the U.S., where the chain was founded 86 years ago. He bought it in 1991. (Bloomberg)

Выбор редакции
30 июля 2013, 15:01

The 7-Eleven retail chain is about to enter a growth phase in the U.S., according to Seven & I Holdings CEO Toshifumi Suzuki. The company plans to make acquisitions and raise the quality of stores in an effort to mimic the success of the chain in parts of Europe. The aggressive push by 7-Eleven could affect the plans of Dunkin Brands' (DNKN) and The Pantry (PTRY) which are also in an expansion mode.

The 7-Eleven retail chain is about to enter a growth phase in the U.S., according to Seven & I Holdings CEO Toshifumi Suzuki. The company plans to make acquisitions and raise the quality of stores in an effort to mimic the success of the chain in parts of Europe. The aggressive push by 7-Eleven could affect the plans of Dunkin Brands' (DNKN) and The Pantry (PTRY) which are also in an expansion mode. Post your comment!

Выбор редакции
04 июля 2013, 15:02

Япония: компания Seven & I Holdings отчиталась о 9,5%-ном росте квартальной прибыли

Крупнейший в Японии ритейлер Seven & I Holdings отчитался о 9,5%-ном росте прибыли в первом квартале с окончанием в мае, который стал рекордным для данного времени года, в связи с расширением своей сети магазинов компании. Стоит отметить, что несмотря на высокие квартальные показатели рентабельности компания сохранила без изменений прогноз по операционной прибыли на год с окончанием в феврале на уровне 340 млрд йен ($3,41 млрд).

Выбор редакции
04 июня 2013, 19:55

7-Eleven operator Seven & I Holdings plans to buy more small chains and franchises in the U.S. and could increase its store count to up to 30K, according to execs. It's a move that makes sense to market analysts who see untapped potential in big cities. If anyone takes a hit from the expansion of 7-Eleven in the U.S., it might be Dunkin' Brands ([[DNKN]] +2.5%) and The Pantry ([[PTRY]] -1.2%).

7-Eleven operator Seven & I Holdings plans to buy more small chains and franchises in the U.S. and could increase its store count to up to 30K, according to execs. It's a move that makes sense to market analysts who see untapped potential in big cities. If anyone takes a hit from the expansion of 7-Eleven in the U.S., it might be Dunkin' Brands (DNKN +2.5%) and The Pantry (PTRY -1.2%). Post your comment!

03 июня 2013, 09:31

Япония: Seven & I планирует открыть новые магазины в Северной Америке

Крупнейший в Японии ритейлер Seven & I Holdings намерен заключить новые сделки по приобретениям в США, а также более чем удвоить количество магазинов в Северной Америке ввиду повышения потребительских расходов на американском рынке. Сообщается, что количество магазинов компании может быть увеличено до 20 000 или даже до 30 000.

06 апреля 2013, 14:17

Азия: решительные меры Банка Японии удержали биржи на плаву

Азия: решительные меры Банка Японии удержали биржи на плаву     В пятницу, 5 апреля, основные фондовые индикаторы Азии завершили сессию на смешанной территории с преобладанием позитивной составляющей во многом благодаря новостям из Японии. Игроки все еще находятся под впечатлением от беспрецедентных мер по смягчению денежно-кредитной политики Страны восходящего солнца, принятых на заседании ее центробанка. Расширение программы по покупке государственных облигаций на 50 трлн йен до 151 трлн йен ($1,62 трлн) в год, а также увеличение лимита срока их погашения до семи лет будет проведено в рамках двухлетней программы недавно назначенного главой Банка Японии Харухико Куроды с целью избавления экономики страны от дефляции, которая продолжается более 15 лет. По итогам сессии региональный фондовый индекс MSCI Asia Pacific поднялся на 0,4% и закрылся на отметке 134,11 пункта. Японский Nikkei 225 "потолстел" на 1,58%, в то время как гонконгский Hang Seng, австралийский S&P/ASX 200 и южнокорейский Kospi убавили из своего актива 2,73%, 0,45% и 1,64% соответственно. Следует отметить, что рынки Китая и Тайваня сегодня закрыты в связи с праздниками. Крупнейший в Японии ритейлер Seven & I Holdings нарастил рыночную капитализацию на 10% на ожиданиях 15%-ного роста операционной прибыли в текущем фискальном году в связи с увеличением продаж на внутреннем рынке, а также экспансией в других странах. Акции крупнейшего в мире автопроизводителя Toyota Motor подорожали на 3,4%, а мирового лидера в сфере производства фотокамер Canon - на 1,5% на фоне ослабления курса йены до рекордного за последние 3,5 года минимума, что привело к удорожанию бумаг японских экспортеров. Решительные действие японского центробанка помогли акциям местных банков и девелоперских компаний закрыться на "зеленой" территории. Так, котировки третьего по рыночной стоимости в Японии кредитора Mizuho Financial Group, второго по рыночной капитализации в Стране восходящего солнца банка Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) и крупнейшего по величине продаж в стране девелопера недвижимости Mitsui Fudosan окрепли на 1,5%, 4,8% и 13% соответственно. Тем временем, акции крупнейшего по величине флота в Китае авиаперевозчика China Southern Airlines "похудели" на 7,6%, а лидирующей в Азии авиакомпании Cathay Pacific Airways - на 4,1% на фоне вспышки птичьего гриппа в Китае, уже унесшего жизни нескольких людей. Бумаги крупнейшей в Китае нефтегазовой компании PetroChina и лидирующей в "Поднебесной" компании в сфере морской добычи нефти Cnooc "покраснели" на 3,9% и 4,4% соответственно вследствие падения цен на нефть.   ИндексСтранаЗакрытие (пункты)Изменение за день (пункты)Изменение за день (%)Изменение с начала года S&P/ASX 200 Австралия 4,891.43 -22.06 -0.45% 5.21% All Ordinaries Австралия 4,899.25 -20.05 -0.41% 5.03% Ho Chi Minh Вьетнам 502.58 5.23 1.05% 21.48% Hang Seng Гонконг 21,726.90 -610.59 -2.73% -4.10% Hang Seng H-shares Гонконг 10,429.31 -329.49 -3.06% -8.80% BSE 30 (Sensex) Индия 18,450.23 -59.47 -0.32% -5.03% Jakarta Composite Индонезия 4,926.07 3.46 0.07% 14.12% Shanghai A-shares Китай 2,328.99 -2.47 -0.11% -1.98% CSI 300 Китай 2,483.55 -2.84 -0.11% -1.56% KLSE Composite Малайзия 1,688.65 0.19 0.01% -0.02% NZSE 50 Новая Зеландия 4,432.97 2.81 0.06% 9.01% Karachi 100 Пакистан 18,644.86 42.66 0.17% 10.29% Straits Times Сингапур 3,299.78 -8.02 -0.24% 4.19% Bangkok SET Таиланд 982.48 -28.23 -2.79% 3.92% TAIEX Тайвань 7,942.35 29.17 0.37% 3.15% PSEi Филиппины 6,727.14 -56.58 -0.83% 15.73% Colombo All-Shares Шри-Ланка 5,765.94 12.38 0.22% 2.18% KOSPI Южная Корея 1,927.23 -32.22 -1.64% -3.50% Nikkei 225 Япония 12,833.64 199.10 1.58% 23.46% Topix Япония 1,066.24 28.48 2.74% 24.01% Третьякова Анастасия специалист отдела анализа мировых рынков (ИК "Финам")

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04 апреля 2013, 11:00

Япония: компания Seven & I ожидает 15%-ного роста операционной прибыли

Крупнейший в Японии ритейлер Seven & I Holdings заявил о том, что он ожидает 15%-ного роста операционной прибыли в текущем фискальном году на фоне увеличения продаж на внутреннем рынке, а также экспансии в других странах. Сообщается, что операционная прибыль компании в фискальном году, начавшемся в марте, может достичь 340 млрд йен ($3,7 мрлд), в то время как аналитики ожидают прибыль в размере 326,9 млрд.

29 марта 2013, 21:33

Marilyn Sewell: Changing The Gun Culture

I am an advocate of stricter gun control laws. Like other advocates, I could list statistics, put forward comparisons to other countries, appeal to logic. But I would like to speak instead of my experience. Five members of my extended family have been killed with guns. The first two are part of my history and part of me, but these incidents do not enter my dreams now. The last two I just heard about last week: My cousin, 81, shot his wife, 77, and then turned the gun on himself, in their daughter's home. I did not know the couple. The third killing was closer to home, and horrific. I will never escape the memory. My father came in from a fishing trip and lay down on the bed to rest. He had been drinking. My stepmother told him to get off her white chenille bedspread, with his dirty shoes and clothes, but he ignored her. She kept after him, insisting, and he pulled a gun from underneath the bed where it was kept, pointed it at her and said, "I guess you will leave me alone now." Again, she insisted. He shot her in the chest. Shocked at what he had done, he called 911. They lived in a small town, and the emergency vehicle arrived 45 minutes later, too late to save her life. During that time, he listened to her calls for help, her pathetic struggle to understand, before she died. This killing affected me in a number of ways. I was horrified and ashamed. I could not bring myself to talk about it to anyone except my psychiatrist -- I couldn't let even my closest friends know. For months I experienced a weight on my chest, as though a huge rock was pressing out my breath. I blamed myself for the incident, thinking that if I had just sent my father a birthday card, maybe he wouldn't have killed my stepmother. I knew that was magical thinking, but something made me want to take responsibility for the death. Then as a feminist, I was appalled when no one brought charges against my father, even the five grown sons of my stepmother. The death was seen as a domestic quarrel. This was the justice meted out in the small Louisiana community where they lived. My father left town for a year and then returned. But he was not unaffected: He slowly lost his mind, due to the combined effects of alcoholism and a guilty conscience. He spent his last seven years in a mental institution, and did not know even his children for the final few years. The United States is a gun culture, and even more so, the South is a gun culture. I grew up with guns hanging on the wall in my father's bedroom. Guns were always available. How could you be a man without a gun? My brother and sister and I lived with our father and his parents. I was there the night that my brother came in late, and my grandfather turned a gun on him, mistaking him for an intruder. Big Papa, as we called our grandfather, came within an inch of shooting my brother. Big Papa was unstable, and he would from time to time be driven into paroxysms of guilt about his youthful transgressions. When these attacks would come, he would hold his head with both hands and rock back and forth in his big easy chair and say, "I feel so bad -- sometimes I think I'll just go get the gun and blow my head off." All during the days of my growing up, I feared he might do just that. I imagined what it would be like to hear the gun go off, to go to the back bedroom and see my grandfather lying dead in a pool of blood. It is true that we cannot prevent every drug-related shootout, every murder of a woman by the man who "owns her," every suicide, every mass killing that is carried out with a gun. But when guns are so easily accessible, and so many deaths are occurring, we have to start somewhere. How can we shift consciousness in a violent and gun-saturated culture? Cultural change takes time, but we can begin with the rule of law, the way we ended slavery, the way we gave women the right to vote, the way we integrated public schools. Let sensible laws lead the way. Changes in consciousness will follow.

29 марта 2013, 02:42

Italian leader Pier Luigi Bersani fails to form government

President Giorgio Napolitano takes back task of ending political paralysis as lack of firm result unsettles financial marketsAfter almost a week of fraught talks, dead-end meetings and irate exchanges, Italy's centre-left leader said on Thursday that he had not been able to find enough support among the country's fractured parliament to form a stable government, prompting the country's octogenarian head of state to take the job of ending the gridlock back into his own hands.Pier Luigi Bersani, the head of the Democratic party (PD), looked tired and dejected as he explained that the six days of consultations he held with other political parties had not yielded "a successful result". Without naming any names, his brief statement referred pointedly to "objections and conditions" set by others which he had not found acceptable.The day before, Beppe Grillo, the founder of the Five Star Movement (M5S), had spurned the PD head's latest offer of an olive branch and referred to him and other established political leaders as "whore-mongering fathers". Bersani – who was asked by the president, Giorgio Napolitano, last Friday to see if he could find the numbers for a government – refused to engage with the idea of a "grand coalition" involving the centre-right party of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.The inconclusive results of last month's elections have consigned Italy, the eurozone's third-largest economy, to political paralysis – a condition which is unsettling the markets on the sidelines of the crisis in Cyprus. The spread between Italian 10-year bonds and their German equivalents widened to 350 basis points – around 30 points more than before voters went to the polls almost five weeks ago.On Friday, Napolitano will take on arguably the biggest challenge of his seven-year term as he holds a series of meetings with representatives of the four main political parties in a bid to see if he can find a way out of the deadlock. A statement issued by his office said he would "without delay take steps to allow him to personally ascertain the developments possible".Quite what those developments could be remain uncertain. Bersani has not formally renounced his attempts to form a government, but most observers expect Napolitano to try to appoint a so-called "president's government" which would rely on the personal authority of the head of state, would be backed by both left and right and would be likely to run along similar technocratic lines as the one he appointed in late 2011.This is made unusually problematic, however, by the fact that Napolitano, who turns 88 in June, is due to stand down in May.Under such a scheme, several names have been touted as possible successors to Mario Monti, including Pietro Grasso, the newly elected former anti-mafia magistrate and speaker of the upper house of parliament or senate. He stressed the urgent need for a solid government to be formed. "This country needs at all costs a government to get going again," he said. "The people would not understand; it would almost seem that we were blaming them for not having managed to vote in a way that allowed us to govern."Such a government would be likely to have a restricted, reformist remit and a short life. A fresh election later this year is a strong possibility.Monti – whose government is technically still in charge of Italy as the crisis rolls on and will mark its 500th day in office this weekend – will not be sad to be replaced. During a stormy session in the lower house on Wednesday he remarked: "This government can't wait to be relieved of its duty."ItalyFive Star MovementBeppe GrilloMario MontiSilvio BerlusconiEurozone crisisLizzy Daviesguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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28 марта 2013, 18:35

Judge says British courts are not soft touch as he jails Romanian gang

Old Bailey Judge Timothy Pontius says 10 men came to UK to steal and have not done honest day's work since arrivingA judge has warned eastern European criminals that British courts will not be a "soft touch" as he jailed a Romanian gang for a £1m gold robbery campaign.The 10 gang members came to the UK specifically to commit the crimes and had not done a day's legitimate work while here, the Old Bailey Judge Timothy Pontius said.He gave them sentences totalling 82 years and 10 months despite the fact that they pleaded guilty and had no previous convictions. They were also told they would be deported after serving their sentences.The judge said the gang had entered the UK as EU citizens with the intention of robbing jewellery shops of large amounts of high-quality gold. Only a fraction of their haul had been recovered from the six raids or attempted raids – leaving the robbers with £1m.Pontius said: "None of the defendants appear to have done an honest day's work while they were here. All will be deported, and rightly so."He said there were fears that an influx of people from Romania and Bulgaria when restrictions are lifted next year would lead to an increase in crime. He warned: "Anyone who comes to the UK, irrespective of whatever part of the world, wanting to commit serious crime must clearly understand such abuse of the hospitality of this country and its people must be seriously punished."It follows that the more grave the crime, the more severe the retribution will be. No one should think for a moment that courts in the UK will be a soft touch. Sentences such as these must be a powerful deterrent not only to homegrown but imported criminals."The gang carried out seven raids in six months, emptying display cabinets and fleeing in minutes before police could respond to alarms. They were caught after officers kept watch on a makeshift campsite they were using on waste ground near the A12 in Essex. After being arrested, Ovidiu Gabor, 25, told police: "I don't care, I go to prison to go on holiday."The gang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob.Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, said: "This was a sophisticated, well-planned conspiracy deliberately targeting jewellers. All the defendants are Romanian. These are all relatively young men who came to this country to rob."They targeted Asian and Turkish jewellers where there was a large quantity of high-carat gold that could be melted down and sold. The usual plan involved one of the gang, dressed in pinstripes and a trilby, being buzzed in and holding the door for an accomplice to smash his way in with a sledgehammer. The rest of the gang would then run in and smash display cabinets with bats and hammers before fleeing with jewellery. They would make off over railway lines, discarding their weapons and outer clothing.The gang netted more than £1.1m last year but only £135,580 has been recovered. In March last year, £500,000 of goods was taken from a shop in Wembley, north London, which was "trashed". Nothing was recovered.A month later, part of a £248,648 haul was found in a hole the gang had dug to hide evidence near a shop in Ilford, east London, said Polnay. In August, £341,435 of goods was taken from a shop in East Ham, east London.Two other attempted robberies were abandoned and the gang were captured after being caught red-handed during a £62,580 robbery in Turnpike Lane, north London, in September. An elderly man was injured when he was struck with a hammer before Flying Squad officers made arrests using Taser guns.CrimeRomaniaImmigration and asylumEuropeguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds