Sweden bids to win distance-selling deal

first_imgStockholm is struggling to thrash out an accord before next week’s internal market ministers meeting on draft rules for firms offering ‘distance selling’ of bank loans, securities and insurance. Currently it is pushing a compromise deal that would require a minimum level of information companies must offer to would-be clients.But insiders say France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium are insisting on the right to impose tougher domestic consumer protection rules “for a few years” on both local and foreign firms, pending a review of the EU-wide directive.The Swedes say that by blocking the measure these countries risk weakening existing laws. Supporters of the new rules claim the right to impose tougher restrictions would go against an existing directive on e-commerce, that says countries should not require extra regulations on companies selling goods and services over the web beyond those in the their ‘country of origin’.But opponents complain they would not have signed up to the e-commerce code had they known it would keep them from enacting tough consumer protection measures in financial services.last_img read more

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Strachan laments lack of Scotland players in Europe’s top leagues

first_imgGordon Strachan says not enough of his players are featuring in Europe’s elite competitions after naming his squad to take on two of the continents heavyweights in France and Italy.The 27-man party includes five from the English Premier League including Steven Fletcher who is on loan from Sunderland to Ligue 1 giants Marseille.Many of the pool could be involved in end of season play-offs in England and Scotland and Strachan lamented that it’s a problem few international managers have to deal with.While Scotland aren’t going to Euro 2016 the national team boss believes these two friendlies should excite his players. “It’s a long, hard season, you have your last bit of strength in you, but playing France and Italy it gets you going and turns you on,” he said.“I’ve done it, played end of the season games and even though you give your best shot they don’t turn you on as much as France and Italy. It’s also the level we have to play against if we’re to get any better.”Watford’s Ikechi Anya, West Brom’s Darren Fletcher as well as James McArthur of Crystal Palace and Matt Ritchie of Bournemouth make up Scotland’s English Premier League contingent.Former international manager Craig Brown bemoaned the lack of talent available to Strachan with the current boss admitting his options are restricted. “It would be great if everyone played in the English Premiership, or Italy or Spain, then it would be ok,” he continued. “But unfortunately we’re dealing with the Championship at the moment.“I can’t pick a settled squad just now. Most international managers at a decent level can pick them because they play in top leagues in the world and don’t have to play in play-offs. “But if you look at that squad there we only have five players who play in a top league in the world. Most of my team is made up from the Championship and we have to deal with that.”Strachan has opted to leave Celtic and Aberdeen players out of his squad with an eye on their respective European qualifiers in July. Only Charlie Mulgrew has been included because his Parkhead contract comes to a end in the summer. The manager says he is doing it with the best intentions for Scottish football and their European experience will in turn benefit the national side.“It might be a bit of a gamble, I could have done with some of them, but if they get through and play at the top level next year I will be delighted because that’s only going to help Scotland,” he said. “If I can give these guys a rest it will benefit their clubs and in the long term it will benefit me and the national side in the long term.”Strachan also explained why he included Hearts’ Callum Paterson despite the Tynecastle club also being included in European qualifiers in July.“I spoke to Robbie Neilson and explained what I was doing with Celtic and Aberdeen and asked if he wanted to be included,” the manager continued. “But he said ‘No, have him in the squad because it will benefit us’. He’s also had the six week break with his injury.”last_img read more

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