Elon Musk has disbanded Twitter’s entire office in Brussels after a row over the policing of the social network’s content in the bloc.
Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who were in charge of Twitter’s digital policy in Europe, left the company last week, according to the Financial Times.
The executives were the driving force in getting the company to comply with the EU’s landmark Digital Services act, which came into force last week setting new rules for Big Tech firms to keep users safe online.
Other executives had already left the small Brussels office at the start of the month as Mr Musk sacked half of the company’s from 7,500 to around 3,750 in the weeks following his £38bn takeover.
The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive had tweeted that “the bird is freed” after completing his acquisition of the platform.
Shortly afterwards, European commissioner Thierry Breton issued a curt reminder of the EU’s content-moderation laws, saying: “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.”
Mr Musk had said that Twitter’s series of layoffs was over this week, as he launched a recruitment drive.
Read the latest updates below.
EU to approve Hungary’s recovery plan
The European Commission is likely to approve next week Hungary’s post-pandemic recovery plan to keep open the possibility of EU disbursements later, but hold back any payouts until Budapest fulfils all agreed conditions.
Under the EU recovery scheme, Hungary could get €5.8bn euros (£5bn) in grants to spend on making the economy greener and more digital – cash Budapest badly needs amid surging inflation, slowing growth and rocketing borrowing costs.
Separately, the Commission is also likely to recommend next week that EU governments suspend 65pc of transfers from the EU budget to Hungary, or some €7.5bn (£6.4bn), until many of the same conditions as for the recovery fund cash are met, sources at the EU executive told Reuters.
Top Hungarian officials said they were confident EU money would start flowing to Hungary next year because the government was committed to meeting all EU requirements, including the one on judiciary, by March 31.
‘Large majority’ on ECB backed rate increases
Investors appear unable to agree on the outlook for European markets after the European Central Bank published the minutes today from its most recent policy meeting.
The ECB minutes showed a “very large majority” of policy members supported the rate hike of 75 basis points that happened in October.
“The market’s main focus is on the pace of rate hikes going forward,” said a note by strategists at Dutch banking group ING.
“The ECB still hiked rates by 75bp last month, but subtle tweaks to the wording of the press statement were already interpreted as a dovish sign.”
Investors currently expect euro zone rates to top out around 2.8pc by the end of next summer.
Yet some strategists thought the ECB minutes were more hawkish:
Natural gas prices slump amid high cap talks
European natural gas prices have fallen by as much as 6.3pc as EU ministers try to resolve their differences on capping prices.
The European Commission had come up with a proposal to cap the price of gas this week after repeated calls from a large group of member states – even amid concerns from other quarters that the move could endanger supply.
The proposed emergency brake level of €275 (£236) per megawatt-hour is well above current levels, raising the question if it will ever be used.
A decision has been delayed until mid-December, with a group of countries pushing to toughen the price-cap plan, according to two EU diplomats.
Unseasonably mild weather over the past two months and the filling up of European storage sites had recently brought down prices from their summer peaks, although the risks of a disruption of supply during the peak winter season could drive prices higher.
Waitrose shuns purchase limits on eggs
Waitrose has pledged a £2.6m investment in its egg suppliers as it remains one of the few supermarkets not to impose purchase limits on customers.
Marks & Spencer and Morrisons are the latest grocers to join Tesco, Asda and Lidl in rationing the sale of boxes as the impacts of rising costs and bird flu continue to take their toll.
However Waitrose said it has no plans to introduce such limits, adding that it is confident it has “strong availability of British free-range eggs available for purchase both online and in our shops”.
Sainsbury’s and the Co-op have also not introduced any limits, with Co-op saying it is continuing to monitor the situation.
Waitrose said its £2.6m investment will go directly to farmers to support them with soaring production costs such as energy and chicken feed.
EU hopes to secure Russian oil price cap today
European Union diplomats are optimistic they can reach a deal as early as today on a price cap level for Russian oil exports despite sharp splits over the plan.
Poland on Wednesday rejected the EU’s executive arm’s proposed price of $65 per barrel as being too soft on Moscow, while Greece, whose shipping industry transports lots of oil, does not want to go below $70.
Identifying the ideal price – high enough to keep Russia’s oil flowing and avoid price spikes, low enough to cut funding for Russia’s war in Ukraine – is the final high hurdle in a…
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