ArcelorMittal slashes steel production on weak economy

ArcelorMittal slashes steel production on weak economyLuxembourg - ArcelorMittal SA's shares sank more than 9 per cent Wednesday after the world's biggest steelmaker said it was cutting production in the wake of slowing global demand.

Worldwide production is to fall about 30 per cent in Europe, the Luxembourg-based company said.

However, third-quarter net profit rose 29 per cent to 3.82 billion dollars from 2.96 billion dollars in the same period last year following a 38-per-cent jump in sales to 35.2 billion dollars.

Germany opposes "voyeuristic" body scans

Airport Body ScanBerlin, Luxembourg - Germany said Friday it would oppose European Union plans for full-body scanners to be used in airports.

The devices are accused of carrying out virtual strip searches because they construct an image of each traveller's body without clothing.

"We do not want our federal policemen to be considered voyeurs," said German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at a meeting in Luxembourg with his European Union colleagues.

EU should denounce Mugabe "power grab," Miliband says

EU should denounce Mugabe "power grab," Miliband says Luxembourg - The European Union should denounce attempts by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to destroy a power-sharing deal with arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai, British Foreign Minister David Miliband said Monday.

"It is very important that a European signal goes out that we will play no part in supporting a power grab by the Mugabe regime," Miliband said in Luxembourg.

EU agrees on new rules for gas, energy markets

gas, energy markets Luxembourg - European Union energy ministers on Friday agreed to new rules for its gas and electricity markets after a long and heated debate, diplomats said.

The deal brings to an end a year of bitter wrangling between member states after the EU's executive, the European Commission, proposed laws aimed at increasing competition in the bloc's energy market.

The most hotly-debated idea was a proposal to force companies which both produce and transport energy to give up their control of transport systems - a process known as "unbundling."

EU states tie up maritime safety package

EULuxembourg - Europe has tightened regulations for the transport of dangerous materials by sea, according to a new EU directive adopted by the transport commissioners for the 27-state bloc on Thursday.

The document, which must be approved by the European Parliament, stipulates that vessels must be insured against third party claims. International agreements have thus far only required that vessels carrying oil or other fuels be insured against spillage.

France, Belgium, Luxembourg guarantee Dexia bank

France, Belgium, Luxembourg guarantee Dexia bank Brussels  - The governments of France, Belgium and Luxembourg have agreed to guarantee the financing of regional banking group Dexia for at least a year, the three administrations confirmed in a statement Thursday.

"In order to support the group's activity and consolidate its development, the three governments have jointly undertaken to guarantee new interbank and institutional financing ... starting today and lasting until 31 October 2009," the statement said.