Hungary violated rules protecting private ownership when it stripped a tobacconist of his license in 2013, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.
According to an All Hungary Media Group story; the court’s ruling does not require that the offending legislation is amended, but it will require the Hungarian state to pay the equivalent of €15,000 in compensation and €6,000 in legal fees once the ruling becomes final.
The ruling will become final if neither party appeals within three months or if any appeal that is made is lost.
Mihaly Varga, the economy minister, told a press conference the Hungarian government acknowledged the Strasbourg court’s ruling, as it had done in connection with past rulings, and would pay the compensation and the legal fees set by the court.
The case was filed by Laszlo Vekony of Sopron in western Hungary, who lost his license to sell tobacco products after the government legislated in September 2012 to make the retail tobacco trade a state monopoly from July 2013.
The court ruling was based on a provision of the European Convention on Human Rights protecting private ownership, specifically ‘peaceful enjoyment of … possessions’.
Socialist board member Karoly Beke insisted that the ruling was “written proof” that Hungary’s system was corrupt. The government’s reaction to the ruling would be a “test of democracy”, Beke said.
Beke encouraged all others with a similar complaint to file suits “out of a shared, democratic interest to demonstrate the borderlines of the rule of law to a usurious, corrupt government”.
The report and comments are at: http://www.politics.hu/20150113/strasbourg-court-rules-against-hungary-over-tobacconists-complaint/
Japan Tobacco Inc. says that it will launch across Japan from the middle of February three new products within its Mevius Premium Menthol Option range of cigarettes that features the company’s new aroma-changing filter capsule.
The products are: Mevius Premium Menthol Option Yellow 8 (delivery 8 mg of tar and 0.7mg of nicotine), Mevius Premium Menthol Option Yellow 5 (5 mg and 0.5 mg) and ‘Mevius Premium Menthol Option Yellow One 100’s (1 mg and 0.1 mg).
JT said that internal research had shown that the menthol category within Japan’s domestic cigarette market had been growing, especially in respect of demand for products with capsules.
‘In May 2013, as an extension of the Mevius Premium Menthol series, which uses 100 percent natural menthol, JT released three Mevius Premium Menthol Option products, the new menthol series featuring the aroma-changing capsule,’ JT said in a note posted on its website. ‘These products have been very well received by consumers.’
Later, JT said that before crushing the capsules in the filters of the new products, smokers experienced ‘the same clear and refreshing menthol sensation that characterizes all products in the Mevius Premium Menthol series through the use of 100 percent natural menthol’.
‘With the three new products, after crushing the aroma-changing capsule, you can enjoy the clean sharp aroma gently spreading over the palate, a sensation different from [that of the] Mevius Premium Menthol Option series currently on sale.’
Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco, the Philippines’ biggest cigarette manufacturer is cutting 640 employees from its Marikina plant; or about 30 percent of the plant’s workforce, according to a number of reports.
“This was a very difficult decision to make but in order to maintain a viable operation and to safeguard the future of our business in Marikina, it was necessary to take this step,” the company’s president, Paul Riley, was said to have told ABS-CBN News.com.
“We always treat our employees with the utmost respect, and all affected employees were given very generous separation packages, well in excess of legal requirements.”
Riley said the company had already issued notices of termination and ‘a source’ was said to have reported that employees had been told on Monday that they would be out of a job by February 15.
The company’s market share stood at 70.9 percent in June 2014 down from 76.7 percent in the same month of the previous year, according to a story in The Philippine Daily Inquirer citing ‘the latest industry data’.
In April last year, Philip Morris Limited announced that it was to stop cigarette manufacturing in Australia with the loss of 180 jobs from its plant at Moorabbin, Victoria. And later the same month, Philip Morris Holland (PMH) announced that it intended to end cigarette production at Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, with the loss of about 1,230 jobs.
Malaysia-based Bright Packaging Industry Bhd has entered into an agreement to supply aluminium foil worth US$15 million to ZAO Philip Morris Izhora, a Russia-based affiliate of Philip Morris International, according to a story in the Sun Daily, Malaysia.
In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, Bright Packaging said the agreement would remain in force until December 31, 2016, and might be renewed for additional terms upon written agreement of the parties.
Concerned about a possible fall in demand for leaf tobacco on international markets, the Tobacco Board of India has called on flue-cured growers in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to stick to the authorized production targets for 2014-2015, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.
The board has fixed a flue-cured crop size of 276 million kg for 2014-15, with the Andhra crop pegged at 172 million kg and the Karnataka crop set at 104 million kg.
However, if the board’s request was a recent one it seems to have come a little late. Eighty nine days into the selling season, Karnataka has already sold more than 46.25 million kg for an average price of Rs114 a kg, with best quality, bright leaf grades attracting a top price of Rs167 a kg.
And it has been announced already that auctions in Andhra are set to begin during the third week of February.
However, the board chairman, K. Gopal, expressed concern that countries such as the US, Brazil and Zimbabwe had produced surplus leaf during the past two years and that supply was now far in excess of demand.
There was a glut on tobacco markets because of the general decline in tobacco consumption in developed countries and because several international cigarette companies were holding huge stocks, he was quoted as saying.
India was exposed also because of the economic problems in Russia and the devaluation of the rouble.
But Gopal urged Indian tobacco exporters to consider implementing a minimum export price and not to undervalue or undersell tobacco on international markets.
And he said it was the duty of the trade to support growers in times of crisis by paying the minimum guaranteed price, even though it wasn’t legally bound to do so.
Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, has become the first Ethiopian city to ban tobacco smoking in public places, according to a story in The Sudan Tribune.
A bill banning smoking was passed unanimously last year by Ethiopian lawmakers and Mekelle has become the first city to implement the bill’s regulations.
The new law restricts smoking in enclosed public places, such as bars and restaurants, but also in open spaces, including sports venues, schools, hospitals, health centres, and other areas where cultural and religious events take place.
The law requires all public and private bodies to post ‘No Smoking’ signs on their premises and forbids the media from advertising or promoting tobacco products.
According to sources in Mekelle, individuals caught violating the regulations will be fined $50, while bar owners who fail to enforce the new laws will face a $150 fine.