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Tobacco retailers gathered in Brussels yesterday to protest against the European Commission‘s proposed restrictions on cigarettes. The Commission‘s proposal to revise the tobacco products directive would require graphic pictorial warnings that cover 75% of cigarette packs, and would ban menthol and ‘slim‘ cigarettes. Members of the National Federation of Tobacco Retailers, which organised yesterday‘s protest, said such moves would put 25,000 jobs at risk. (EUROPEANVOICE.COM)

European pilots and cabin crew protested Tuesday against EU plans for new flight duty time rules, claiming they would fatigue staff and endanger aviation safety. EU officials and the aviation industry reject their claims. The pilots and cabin crew protested against proposals by the European Aviation Safety Agency that could form the basis for new legislation later this year. They demonstrated in 20 European airports and cities, but there were no reports of flight delays as a result. (EUROPEONLINE-MAGAZINE.EU)

Eleven eurozone countries on Tuesday won EU blessing to impose a co-ordinated levy on financial transactions, paving the way to a tax that could cream billions of revenues from trades taking place in London. At a gathering in Brussels, a majority of EU finance ministers gave approval for the creation of a vanguard transaction tax bloc, which is expected to include the eurozone’s four biggest economies: Germany, France, Italy and Spain. (FT.COM)

The European Commission is boosting again its humanitarian aid for the Mali crisis with €20 million.

The European Research Council is awarding €680 million to 302 senior research leaders in 24 different countries across Europe, in the latest competition for its prestigious ‘Advanced Grants‘. With up to €2.5 million per project, the funding allows these scientists to pursue their most ground-breaking ideas at the frontiers of knowledge together with their own teams.

David Cameron will promise an in/out referendum if the Conservatives win the next election when he makes his long-awaited speech on the EU today. The Prime Minister wants to renegotiate the UK‘s relationship with the EU, before asking people to vote. (BBC.CO.UK)

“We will table by May a joint proposal ahead of the June summit for more economic coordination in the eurozone,“ German Chancellor Angela Merkel said alongside French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday. She added a similar proposal will be made for the EU budget for 2014-2020. (EUOBSERVER.COM)

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