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I hope that it will help you make this year a successful one.


First, a little background. 2010 was a turbulent year for the Euro. It went as low as 1.1$ following the terrible Greek financial crisis and subsequent bailout. Today, the Euro is trading for 1.353$ after a prolonged recovery. Even the minor bailout of Ireland, another Euro country is severe financial trouble went by with relative ease. For the time being, the Eurozone was able to withstand the problems its weaker members face.


In 2011, the Euro may be facing even greater problems. Spain, a much larger country than either Greece or Ireland, is facing major economic challenges of its own. With 20% unemployment and massive debts, the prospect of a Spanish loan default is nightmarish for all those who favor the Euro. Spain will not be easy (or even possible) to bailout. It is simply too big. Smaller economies such as Portugal and Italy (and some Easter European countries) may also require aid. All this will likely make 2011 a challenging year for the Euro and may lead to lower Euro-dollar prices.



On the other hand, we have the US. While the financial crisis of late 2008 is still showing signs of slowing down the biggest global economy, there are indications that the US is steadily recovering. With very lot interest rates and financial easing measures taken by the Federal Reserve, the US Dollar may have little room to rise. This may mean that the first months of 2011 will be good ones for the EUR/USD. However, I predict that in 2011, interest rates in the US will begin to rise. When this happens, the value of the Dollar will likely increase across the board.


All in all, I predict a good year for the Dollar and a difficult one of the Euro. How accurate will this Euro Dollar Forecast for 2011 be? We shall have to wait until December and see how right I really am.


Knowing where the Forex market is going to go is always difficult. In this article, I’ll focus on just one currency, the Euro, and predict how it will fare in 2011. Will this be a good or bad year for the Euro?


Euro Prediction For 2011


The Euro is a collective currency, used by 16 countries in Europe. Among those countries are strong economies such as Germany and the Netherlands, but also weak ones such as Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal. The Euro policy and central interest rates are determined by the ECB, European Central Bank. However, each country governs itself so there is financial unity but not an administrative one.


This makes it hard to create and uphold the best monetary policy for the Euro. The weak countries would like a weak Euro to make their exports more attractive but the stronger ones would like a powerful Euro to give them more purchasing power. In 2011, as Europe is still recovering from the crisis of 2008, we will see those conflicting pressures increase, one thing which will weigh down on the Euro.


In 2010, two major aid packaged were given to two small members of the Eurozone whose economy was in virtual ruin: Greece and Ireland. This led to a lot of pressure on the Euro, driving it as low as 1.1$ .

Euro trading euro fx euro forex euro yen euro pound euro base rates euro rate euro live charts euro charting euro foreign exchange euro fx euro currency. currency trading

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East European Dating and Eastern European Single Women – Europe in Love

Dating men & women from different cultures has always fascinated us since years and now it has become easier, thanks to the world of online dating.  And, European dating has secured a bigger space for itself in the current dating scene on the net.

There are hundreds of websites offering European dating services, but not each of them is legitimate.

Dating Europe –

In Europe, a large number of men & women are single and they all want to find their life partners, be it online or offline, but the first way is much easier now. Hundreds of thousands of people have registered themselves on the European dating sites & you can choose from this huge list according to your interests & preferences.

Now, the phrase European dating itself has many meanings within – French dating, Italian dating, Spanish dating, German dating & so on.

Dating European gives you an easy way to find a European partner of your choice with no hard efforts. It gives you a platform to know a person before making a decision to spend your life with them. You can search for a prospective European partner for you by searching for you that matches with your interests, likes & dislikes. And, the language is no more a barrier now, the online language translators help you translate what you want to say to other person.


You just need to create a profile filling your basic & personal information like your age, race, nationality, built, profession, height, weight & appearance, single/divorced, children/want children etc-etc. Then, you need to fill in information like what kind of partner you are looking for & you also need to describe yourself in few sentences that give a clear idea about you to other people searching for their partners. And, not to mention that adding a picture to your profile always increase your chances.

You can find women from all different parts of Europe on European dating on the net – Russian women, Romanian women, Ukrainian brides, Belarus women, etc-etc. Hundreds of thousands of beautiful women have their profiles on European dating online.

So, enjoy the benefits of European dating and find a perfect partner for yourself sitting miles away. No more geographical limitations can limit you from meeting your European date. You can have your choice of European dating partner that matches your interests & preferences.

European dating provides you free trial and you can enjoy many great services like chat, video chat, SMS & email for a nominal fee. You can hide your contact information in you profile unless you want it to be visible to everyone.

You can find your European soul mate within a few days. Millions of people are enjoying dating Europe, so why left behind when a meaning relationship can be formed very easily.

So, go ahead and date a European partner with commune interests and color your life.

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Euro Debt Crisis


A popular journal in Greek stated Greek debt crises focused less on the crisis and more on the market reaction. It also stated that Hedge Funds Try ‘Career Trade’ Against Euro” and “Speculators Bet Record Amount against Euro for 4th Week” and “Europe Trouble, U.S. Opportunity” in the headline. It explains the collapse in the Euro mainly against the dollar as one of the important and profitable techniques for exploiting the crisis. The debt crisis has become self fulfilling both for Greece and Euro, both Greek and Euro bonds lost their value which makes the crisis more badly. Most of the speculators are using this favorable condition by making more bets against Euro. Based on the viewed commitment of Trader’s report, the net short conditions against the Euro have a record 12 billion dollar. Some analysts took these details at face value. 

There is also proof that most of the speculators are now trying in concert to bring down the value of Euro. The magazine also mentioned about the private meeting between Hedge funds managers and investment banks helping their customers bet against Euro by using derivatives. These speculators influence the currency markets. The Euro has down 10 percent in less than three months which is more surprising for a currency whose daily trading volume is calculated at 1.2 trillion dollars. The famous choice trade is based on the Euro falling to party against the dollar. It is also not in the good position to accept the market power that these speculators have.

But emotion has no place in forex trading. EU member states contain shaky finances which cannot be dismissed. The Euro is controlled by the European central bank over which Greece has no power. Usually in the forex trading investors like to buy one currency because they think it is going to appreciate in its value against other currencies. If all the investors have same sentiment, these purchases will cause the Euro to appreciate and the dollar will depreciate. In the European debt crisis of 2010, some countries in the European Union were at danger to default on their debt. 

This caused the Euro to fall down so investors look for the other currencies. The three big safe havens are the Treasury bills, U.S dollar and gold. These investments are regarded as less risky of all investments. The strength of the Euro is currency stability. Businesses will not face any risk from currency exchange rates and tourists also no longer to pay the price of the currency conversion. But the weakness is the Euro using countries are not able to set their own monetary policy and they should act according to the policies which are drawn by the European central bank. Greece is unable to devalue its currency to keep prices stable and increase exports to increase money. So forex traders always should keep an eye with the fluctuations of the currency value to operate their forex trading successfully. This helps them to avoid unnecessary frustration in forex trading.


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Designs Your Garden With Flowers



The title of this rose is somewhat optimistic: as yet truly ‘blue’ or ‘black’ roses are not available, and still belong to the realms of fantasy. The efforts to breed these colours have, however, produced, especially in hybrid Teas, some delightful varieties in mauve, lilac and blackish red. ‘Blue River®’ is just such an example, with large, beautiful, crimson-mauve blooms, which become lighter at the heart as if powdered, while the petal edges become darker. The blooms are usually borne in clusters and smell exquisite. Whether the rose is planted in a perfumed or perennial bed, its partners should not be planted too close, a minimum distance of 35 cm (14 in) apart, as unfortunately, as with all varieties of this colour grouping, it is susceptible to black spot.

• The ADR rose, ‘Mainzer Fastnacht’ (synonyms: ‘Blue Moon’, ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Blue Girl’, `Sissi’) has striking lilac-mauve tones and a wonderful scent. This popular variety blooms in great profusion and is hardy.


FLOWERING: Repeat bloomer; fully double; 0 8-10 cm (3-4 in); magenta mauve with a darker edge; strong, delicious scent

GROWTH: 70-80 cm (28— 32 in) high; upright; bushy

FEATURES: Award-winning scent; temperamental; lovely cut rose; requires protection in winter PLANTING: For perfumed beds and flowerbeds and borders; as specimens or in groups

 INTRODUCED: Kordes, 1984, Germany


Synonyms: ‘Grand Château’, ‘Taboo®’ / HYBRID TEA

‘Barkarole®’ will be assured a place as one of the noblest hybrid Teas with its characteristic slender, tall buds that open spirally to reveal dark velvety red petals that are lightly reflexed and borne singly on long stems. This tall, bushy variety will bloom to late autumn without suffering in the rain. In southern locations it may suffer some heat damage in full midday sun. ‘Barkarole®’ is unusual for its vigorous, bushy growth habit, as most ‘black’ roses do not grow well and are susceptible to disease. ‘Barkarole®’ is different from the norm in that respect, too, as it has proved itself very resistant to black spot. However, mildew may be a problem, and this should immediately be treated with fungicide.

? ‘Black Baccara’ (Meilland, 2002), with its deep, dark red, velvety blooms, is even darker than `Barkarole. The darkest of the ‘black’ roses does, however, have no scent and is very susceptible to fungal diseases.


FLOWERING: Repeat bloomer; fully double; 08-11 cm (3-41/2 in); dark red; delicious scent

 GROWTH: 80-130 cm (32-51 in) high; upright; bushy

FEATURES: Top quality variety, popular worldwide; rain resistant; good cut rose

PLANTING: For perfumed beds, flowerbeds and borders; as specimens or in groups; lovely standard

INTRODUCED: Tantau, 1987, Germany

You can send flowers to Ahmedabad with best quality flower delivery Ahmedabad. You can visit this flower guide for more information about this article.

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Vision Shopsters: The Top 10 European Specialty Chemicals Companies: Changing business models, strategies and SWOTs

The specialty chemicals operations of major European players remained relatively resilient during the economic downturn compared to their other business lines. The 2005-09 period witnessed a considerable rise in consolidation activities among European companies. Some players are focused on backward integration of operations whilst others are aiming to offload non-core franchises. Consolidation is in part prompted by fluctuations in raw material prices and rising competitiveness in the global marketplace.
The report profiles major European players in the specialty chemicals segment and elucidates trends associated with these companies, and insights into the opportunities and threats facing them. This report provides detailed profiles of ten leading European specialty chemicals companies, and brief profiles of other major players. The detailed profiles contain descriptions of business, financial performance, growth strategies and SWOT analyses. Analysis is based on:

• Each company’s consolidated and segmental financial performance;
• Each company’s growth strategies and major acquisitions and divestments relating to the specialty chemicals market;
• Key partnerships and alliances formed by these companies;
• Business-related strengths and weaknesses of these companies.

Key features of this report

• Key drivers and resistors to growth of leading European specialty chemicals companies.
• Common industry characteristics in strategies and performance of European specialty chemicals companies.
• Analysis of financial performance and growth strategies of leading specialty chemicals companies during 2005–09.
• Overview of specialty chemicals product portfolios of leading companies.
• SWOT analysis of the leading European specialty chemicals companies.

Scope of this report

• Learn from the strategies of European specialty chemicals companies to target future growth markets effectively, avoid their mistakes, replicate their successes and learn of the threats they face.
• Benchmark your performance against the leading European specialty chemicals companies by understanding their strategies.


• Measure the resilience of specialty chemicals operations of European companies during the economic downturn.
• Compare performances of specialty and non-specialty chemicals operations of European companies in the global soft drink market arising from the change in consumers’ preferences and global recession.
• Save time, money and resources on analyzing the performance of leading specialty chemicals companies using this report.

Key Market Issues

• Raw material price fluctuations: Review of the 2005-09 period indicates that profits of specialty chemicals operations of leading European players are influenced by fluctuations in raw material prices. Rise in prices in early 2008 coupled with lack of backward integration squeezed margins of Ciba leading to its acquisition by BASF. Fall in prices during the economic downturn had considerable effects on operating margins of European players.
• Fall in demand during downturn: Fall in demand considerably suppressed operating income of European companies in 2009. However, prompt restructuring activities enabled several companies to maintain steady levels of operating margin.
• Relative resilience of specialty chemicals operations: Business Insights observes that the impact was less profound when compared to non-specialty chemicals. The contribution of specialty chemicals to the decline in consolidated revenues was relatively modest. Our in house developed Revenue Growth Index clearly differentiates the performance of specialty and non-specialty operations of European players.
• Consolidation: European players are focused on consolidating their position in the global specialty chemicals market through backward integration and shifting attention to core franchises. Ciba merged with BASF, sensing opportunities for backward integration. Lanxess divested its paper chemicals business, which was later acquired by Kemira.

Key findings from this report

• Business Insights forecasts that the global specialty chemicals market will grow at a CAGR of 2% during 2010–14 to reach a total value of approximately 9bn in 2014.
• The 15 leading European companies generated .9bn sales in 2009, accounting for 15.6% of the 8bn global specialty chemicals market.
• BASF was the largest European specialty chemicals company with bn sales in 2009. The acquisition of Ciba in 2008 propelled the company’s topline significantly.
• European specialty chemicals companies were not insulated from the fall in volume sales experienced by the global chemicals industry. The majority of these players were affected by the fall in industrial input costs as was observed in their selling prices.
• Business Insights’ Revenue growth index found that during the downturn, specialty chemicals businesses of European players performed better than their non-specialty operations.

Key questions answered

• What was the market size of the global specialty chemicals industry by value in 2009?
• What will be the market size of the global specialty chemicals industry during 2010-14?
• What are the key trends observed in the European specialty chemicals companies and strategic responses that are taking shape?
• Who are the major European players in the global specialty chemicals market?
• What are the growth strategies of the leading 10 companies?

To know more about this report & to buy a copy please visit :

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Visionshopsters specializes in providing comprehensive collection of online market research reports, events bookings, country reports, company profiles, latest books and magazines, customized research services offering informative solutions worldwide. We constantly believe in providing inventive solutions to clients all across the globe. Our clientele consists of over thousands of top most academic organizations, financial institutions, trading companies, legal service providers, accounting consultancies and other corporate business executives.

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Eu Threatens to Renew Tariffs on Footwear From China, Vietnam

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) — The European union threatened to re-impose tariffs on shoes from China and Vietnam over the objections of EU consumers, seeking to protect Italian, Spanish and Portuguese producers. The EU opened a review into whether to let lapse the duties of up to 16.5 percent on Chinese and Vietnamese leather footwear. The levies, which were due to expire Oct. 7 after two years, will now automatically stay in place for as long as 15 months while the EU examines whether to re-apply the trade protection to counter below-cost — or “dumped” — imports. The review “will determine whether the expiry of the measures would be likely, or unlikely, to lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and injury,” the European Commission, the 27-nation EU’s regulatory arm in Brussels, said today in the Official Journal. The case risks reopening a split in the EU over the need to shield 8,000 leather-shoe manufacturers, mainly small businesses in southern Europe, from cheaper imports. Four-fifths of the bloc’s leather shoes come from Italy, Portugal and Spain, which face objections to the trade protection from northern nations. The EU’s 2006 decision to impose the levies on 9.7 billion euros (.4 billion) of Chinese and Vietnamese footwear for two years was a compromise because such anti-dumping measures usually last for five years. The levies are 16.5 percent for China and 10 percent for Vietnam. More than 40,000 Vietnamese workers have lost jobs since the EU imposed the duties, the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association said in September. Vietnam’s concerns have been echoed by EU retail and consumer groups. Price Increases “Consumers, who already face huge price increases, namely in the food and energy sectors, have had to pay the bill for long enough,” Monique Goyens, director general of the European Consumers’ Organisation, said Oct. 2. “The continuation of the protectionist anti-dumping duties on shoe imports is a missed opportunity for the EU to take their concerns seriously, rather than continuing old-fashioned protectionist policies.” In a sign of the internal political battle that may erupt again in Europe, 15 EU nations were opposed to opening an expiration review while 12 countries endorsed it when the commission consulted them in September. The commission, which said the legal conditions are “clearly met” for a review, pledged to try to complete it in less than 12 months to 15 months. The commission will have to make a recommendation to EU governments on whether to renew the trade protection. Chinese Exporters Five months ago, the EU extended the 16.5 percent duty to Macau after concluding that Chinese exporters shipped leather footwear via the former Portuguese colony or assembled the shoes there to dodge the levy. Macau, a special administrative region of China, wasn’t subject to the duty, which Chinese shoemakers including Aokang Group opposed. The expiry review stems from a June 30 request by the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry, the Brussels- based lobby group that filed the original demand for trade protection against China and Vietnam. The lobby group cited Chinese circumvention via Macau as a reason for re-imposing the measures, the commission said. The group also alleged continued dumping by Chinese and Vietnamese exporters and the risk of injury should the measures lapse, according to the commission. The levies imposed two years ago applied to 174 million pairs of shoes from China and 103 million pairs from Vietnam. In 2006, before the two-year duties were imposed, the EU said those shoes had an average retail price of 35 euros a pair. For more information, please visit


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Biking Adventures in Germany and Austria

Biking Adventures in Germany and Austria By Maggie Rentmeester

Travel adventures, especially those to foreign countries, are always exciting.  Several members of my family and I began planning a two-week biking/ sightseeing trip to Europe through Vermont bike Tours ( in the cold months following Christmas.  Once the warmth of summer arrived we set off on our journey to the fascinating Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria.   Baroque spires and domes from the 1400’s looked down on the modern and busy cities seemingly nodding their approval.  Our group arrived in Passau, Germany, a city founded at the confluence of three rivers:  the Danube, the Inn, and the Ilz.  We settled into the quaint Alstadt Hotel, located on the finger of land separating the Inn and the Danube, and promptly checked out the beautiful terrace that provided a unique visualization of the comingling of the rivers.  The Danube is dark bluish grey and the Inn has a silvery tone from mountain runoff high in the Alps—fishermen lined both rivers and from the look of their buckets, had great catches for the day.  
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Luckily our visit coincided with the town’s annual river festival just across a couple of lovely bridges on the banks of the Ilz River.  I have never experienced a German town festival and was willing to immerse myself in the local culture, especially when that meant cold beer, smoky grilled sausages, and yeasty, fresh baked pretzels accompanied by live music! We crossed the Inn River bridge and marveled at the number of barges anchored for the evening:  some decorated with Swarovski crystal chandeliers and private balconies—what a way to enjoy the scenery of the Danube!  Then on over to the Ilz River bridge where we were treated to a boat jousting tournament going on below.  Two low, flat bottom boats fitted with small platforms off the stern each held a jouster.  Contestants perched on the platforms armed with a six-foot padded lancing devices. The boats were rowed smartly toward each other with the intent of getting close enough for one jouster to knock the other off into the river.  Rowdy crowds attired in costumes of lederhosen and dirndls lined the bridge.  From the banks of the river they shouted encouragement to their favorite contestants.  Multiple participants, men and women, ended up taking their licks and good-naturedly splashed their way to the shore.  Volunteer jousters would certainly have been found in our group if they had been needed.  Several of our adventurous folk might have run down to the shore to join in if asked, everyone looked like they were having a blast.  
Everyone worked up quite a thirst with all the cheering for the jousters.  A frothy mug of Hacklburg ale (“two fisted” drinking required for the mandatory liter mug that weighed a ton!) was the perfect drink to quench my thirst from the spicy grilled sausage, crispy baked chicken and chewy salty pretzels accompanied by tangy stone-ground mustard. The evening ended with lively, sing along, can’t keep your feet from moving, songs performed by a Beatles’ tribute band.  It was easy to join in with the song lyrics, sung in English, not so easy to translate the conversation between songs, but great fun was had by all.
Morning broke the following day and after enjoying a hearty breakfast buffet with a selection of fresh sugar sweet strawberries and melon, aged fragrant sliced meats and cheeses, crusty homemade breads and fresh brewed coffee with sweet cream it was time for our next adventure.
Vermont Bike Tour ( tour leaders Zuzanna and Andy once again transitioned us seamlessly to the next mode of transportation: a huge and luxurious river boat.   Andy had a plethora of regional maps and used the large tables on the boat to point out the pathways of the rivers in the region.  River travel allows passengers to cruise through four different countries—Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.  The historic Danube has inspired songwriters, poets and kings.  The Blue Danube Waltz was a symbol of Imperial Vienna and Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned along its shores, the proud fortress where he was once interred stands proudly high above the rapidly moving waters.  While silently cruising down the twirling, winding route gazing as castles and ancient ruins appeared on the steep, thickly forested mountains lining the river; We all began to understand the power of the water.  The movement of the boat became hypnotic and I could picture a time when beasts of burden lined the paths tethered to the boats pulling loads to the next destination.  These one-time animal pathways have been paved over and converted into a bike trail with million-dollar views.  We docked at the river port town of Schlogen and began our tour of the Wachau Valley.


Guidebooks describe the Wachau Valley as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—a grouping of 936 properties chosen by the World Heritage Committee as having worldwide cultural or historical significance and include such lofty cohorts as the Great Barrier Reef, Yellowstone National Park, and Machu Picchu.  While gratified that I traveled through an area of such epic history, my fondest recollections of the Wachau valley are that of gliding through fragrant vineyards lining the bike trail, warm sun on my back, glistening apricots ripening on the tree, and sipping delicious young heuriger wine.  
The bike trail along the Danube winds peacefully adjacent to the river and veers off into picturesque towns lined with bright earthen-toned stone houses draped with flowering vines and stunning fuchsia and blue hydrangeas.  On our bikes we meandered over one of the many bridges, gazed at the swiftly moving river and admired the stately Baroque church silhouetted on a hillside while standing with one foot in Austria and one foot in Germany.  Thanks to the enactment of the European Union, borders are crossed with ease and many only bear small markings indicating the new country entered.  My journey downriver took me past stunning gardens—one complete with bamboo, sculptured evergreens and stunning double fuchsia plants.  We pedaled through lovely forested areas only to emerge at a clearing with breathtaking views of ruined castles, abbeys and churches.  Lunchtime brought us to a dam crossing and we entered Scharding, Austria, a town famous for its nutty, Swiss-like cheese.  Fragrant silky cheese sliced directly from the wheel, crusty locally baked bread and fresh apricots purchased at the local farmer’s market made for a delightful picnic lunch.  Rich and velvety chocolate Sacher torte provided a sweet ending and incentive to bike a few more miles.
Have I mentioned anything about the food?  The attention to detail, expert planning, and near-perfect execution by VBT included an amazing array of meals and snacks throughout the trip.  On one memorable evening Zuzanna and Andy organized a scrumptious meal served in an ancient winepress room.  They brought our group together that evening to enjoy house made braunschweiger and juicy sausages accompanied by fresh grape tomatoes and mozzarella for an appetizer.  Roasted chicken, slow cooked beef served with homemade sauerkraut, lentils and potatoes for the main course.  Spongy, spiced chocolate apricot torte was the finale.   Afterward I was just barely able to roll myself back up to my room and dream of tomorrow’s adventures.  Once again, VBT comes through with a lovely, unique, “never would have found this place on my own” establishment with delicious food.
The next morning the group and I pedaled through the enchanting Wachau Valley along the Danube towards the Baroque town of Melk.  The paved path was smooth and led me through vineyards lined in robust grapevines heavy with the promise of a hearty harvest end-capped with multicolored fragrant rose bushes used as sentinel agents predicting disease.  Stopping to admire and pick a few blushing apricots from a tree near the pathway, I took on some fresh fuel for my pedaling trip downriver.  The majestic Melk Abbey appeared high above me on a rocky outcropping over the Danube.   Our VBT trip included a guided tour of the Abbey and our knowledgeable escort was ready and waiting for us; how lovely to have someone take care of all of these details and make the trip so stress free.  The Baroque monastery stands tall on the hillside capped with a trio of towering spires and a lovely golden yellow facade.  The abbey was built in the early 1700’s and still has 900 active students attending.  The size and scale of the building was impressive, but the most breathtaking portion of the abbey was the church.  Pink, purple and violet orchids spun into 10-foot diameter wreaths decorated each side altar and blossoms threaded onto wires suspended from the ceiling.  These colorful cascades created the image of raining orchids in the center of the church in honor of the feast day for Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Stunning frescoes on the ceiling gilded with four kilograms of pure gold embellished the opulent statues and altars.  Stunning—I felt like I was in the company of royals with such an opulent display.
After enjoying brick oven fired freshly made pizzas topped with tuna, eggs, artichokes, and pepperoni for lunch provided by VBT, it was time to cycle back to Weissenkirchen.  Friendly locals called out greetings of “Állo!” to passersby while perched on benches lining the Danube enjoying the sunshine and views.  I paused along the way to breathe in the scenery and snap a few photographs of the uniquely terraced vineyards lining the lush green hills along the river. The Riesling wine bottled here is world renowned:  crisp and fruity, lovely on the taste buds and perfect accompanying a multitude of foods.  The VBT van appeared regularly along our biking routes with a delectable array of local goodies to sample and re-energize us.   Each town and village had several convenient and accessible konditorei (German/Austrian pastry shops), every one of them offering a mouth-watering selection of delectable treats to hard working cyclists.  Going hungry is never an option!
A biking voyage down a quiet river path might lead some to fear monotony.  This is absolutely not the case at all:  the twists and turns of the Danube provide delights around every corner.  The path led us through villages with Renaissance buildings surrounding hidden inner courtyards gushing with newly bloomed flowers, past ancient ruins, through orchards heavy with ripening fruit and alongside vineyards holding the promise of both sweet and earthy vintages.  Home cooked regional dishes were available in every town and harbored winemakers galore.  Wine tasting was available every evening.  Traditionally, the winemaker offering a tasting hangs out a wheat wreath on the gate offering an invitation to visitors.  Andy and Zuzanna treated us to a lovely evening of conversation and wine sipping under the apple orchard strung with lights, I felt like I was in a fairyland.  
The Wachau Valley enchanted me with its picturesque views, fabulous bike paths, fragrant vineyards, and exquisite cuisine.  I left a bit of my heart in the valley and would love to go back.   Read more at     

Maggie Rentmeester is the Active Outdoors Feature Writer for


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New to the EU Recruitment Process? Read this step-by-step quick guide!

Step #1 – The Notice of Competition

All permanent staff for the EU institutions are recruited through open competitions (commonly referred to as ‘concours’ in all languages) organised by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) offering EU Careers for all EU institutions, such as the European Commission, the Council of Ministers (also called Council of the European Union), the European Court of Auditors (ECA), the Court of Justice of the EU (and the General Court of the EU), the European Parliament (EP), the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). These attract a very considerable number of applicants who know that passing the competition is the only way to become a permanent official in an EU institution. Regarding non-permanent jobs like temporary agents or contract agents, a similar selection takes place, though for EU Agencies a simple CV application and job interview is enough.

Step #2 – The Pre-Selection Procedure

Submit Your Application

• Application is done online through EPSO’s online application system.


Professional Competencies in the Spotlight

• As of 2010, a fundamentally reshaped EPSO recruitment system is in place. This signals a move away from a selection system centred around lexical knowledge on the EU to one with a focus on professional competencies.

• These competencies are tested through three types of tests: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning – you can find some free samples here.

Step #3 – The Assessment Centre

• The purpose of an Assessment Centre testing is to model more closely real-life work situations and competences during recruitment.

• An Assessment Centre is literally an evaluation centre, a place where you spend almost a full day during which you perform various tasks and assessors observe and score your behaviour and answers.

• Answers you have give in a so-called Situational Judgment test will be highly relevant to the Assessment Centre testing. EPSO will conduct your “structured interview” based on the results of your Situational Judgment Test.

• Applicants for Assistant positions will go through an E-Tray Exercise, designed to test your ability to prioritize, organise and communicate with several people.

• Applicants for Administrator positions will go through a Case Study Exercise as well.

Step #4 – Reserve List & Job Interview

• Finalists will be placed in a central reserve list from which the different institutions can pick their future employees.

• This reserve list does not guarantee you a job, but confirms that you have fulfilled the criteria to become an official.

Step #5 – Recruitment

The salaries are very generous (starting 2500 EUR for assistants and 4000 EUR for administrators) subject to beneficial taxation for EU officials, which is generally around 10-20% of the gross income.

Types of Jobs

• Permanent job: concours required, see above

• Temporary job: a “fast-track” concours is required

• EU Agencies: always temporary jobs

• 3-6 month EU traineeships

Gabor Mikes is the author of this article on European Union Jobs. Find more information about EU Job Opportunities here.

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Flower Exporters From Around the World

The flower industry works like a simple value chain: growers grow flowers, suppliers obtain them, then the flowers are sold to retailers or to wholesalers before consumers buy them in bunches or bouquets. It sounds really simple, except the people involved come from all over the world. Most of the produce in the flower industry are grown in Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia, with Netherlands as the biggest trade center and Germany as the primary market for imports.

Exported cut flowers from the Netherlands to Germany are the primary component of the international flower industry and as well as a significant part of the European trade, which by itself accounts for a big part of the world trade. In the American continents, Colombia is the United States’ major supplier. Japan gets its cut flower supply from a more diverse base, with New Zealand, Europe, The Philippines, and Taiwan being the most important ones.

The Netherlands has been the hub of the international flower trade since the 1950’s. The secret of their prominent position in the industry is an efficient trade system that facilitates the shipment of flowers around the world. Flowers are imported from growers in South America, Australia, Africa, and Asia and assembled in the Aalsmeer flower auction, the largest marketplace for buying and selling floricultural produce. This allows the flower industry to overcome the problem of wholesalers being unable to import directly from flower-growing countries.


On the supplier side, the flower industry is dominated by a few major players who are also a cluster of interrelated companies with their own specialization and export markets. The Dutch Flower Group is the world’s largest flower supplier with companies located in Western Europe and Africa. The other major supplier in the European market is the Zurel Group, with a turnover of more than 0 million. Both the Dutch Flower Group and the Zurel Group have three divisions that deal with wholesale, imports, and retail.

The advantages these major groups are pretty clear, because their sub-companies perform the process of production and distribution all throughout the year. They also give discounts on flower purchases through marketing strategies like flower deals, flower coupons, and other customer-centered offers, which save money for the customer and allow him to buy bigger volumes of flowers.

Besides flowers, the flower companies also exports accessories like foliage (fillers for the bouquet), flower foam, corsage supplies, artificial foliage, vases, and ribbons. Other major accessories that are purchased are packaging equipment for the transfer of fresh, perishable flowers. These include flower mats, flower foils, and ice packs. One of the biggest suppliers of flower accessories in Europe is a member of the Dutch Flower Group called Cold and Fresh International.

This article was written by Timothy Spencer for Island Rose – Florist Philippines. We hope you enjoyed this article and encourage you to visit our website. Through Island Rose, you can find high quality Roses Philippines or simply browse through our blog for more informative articles.

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Surprise Your Loved Ones In Delhi by Sending Flowers

The flowers are used from the very old times as the romantic gift. And now flowers become the symbol of love and gratitude for everyone. Now across the world, people love flowers for their capabilities to express emotions. Flowers are possibly the world’s most popular gift, as sending them to a friend or loved one is a customary practice all over the world. Receiving bouquets makes the recipient feel cared for and considered and is always an acceptable way to send out love or condolences. Flowers are always appreciated during special occasions like birthdays, anniversary and a lot more. These are good items that you can send during a special occasions in your mother’s or sister’s life.

The act of giving flowers during a certain occasion has been a long time tradition. Flowers are often sent to a friend or loved-ones in order to make them feel loved and special during those special events in their lives.  How come you have to spell everything out for guys! Gentlemen, if you want to keep your ladies happy, you should send them flowers. They are the perfect gift for nearly every woman. Sending flowers online could be an ideal gift whenever you are far away from the recipient. This could only be made do able through online florist. What you can do is you can surf the web and lookout for some dependable stores which offer such facilities.

Flowers are a sentiment that are international. People across the world love to receive flowers, especially for special occasions and holidays. If you know someone who is in another part of the world you would like to send him a beautiful bouquet, then it’s entirely possible for you to send flowers to Delhi. In online shopping, no shopper can encounter such. Buying some bunch of fresh flowers can be as easy as just buying from a local store. Sending flowers to Delhi online is offering a perfect arrangement of flowers directly to your special someone. Flowers are used to demonstrate love, care and compassion. Flowers can also be used to represent innocence and life. During funerals, flowers are used as a sign of sympathy and help to give family and friends of the departed that loss calming strength they need in order to persevere and move on.

Sending flowers involves a bit of tricks which can be of great use. Here we can have a short discussion about few tips to send flowers. For those people who have relatives in Germany, there is no need to worry since sending flowers to Germany is also fast and easy just like sending flowers to any other country as well. This day is also a great opportunity for people to express their affection for another person and not necessarily their romantic feelings. It is customary to send flowers on Valentine’s Day as a token of one’s love or friendship. There is something hard to define about why they are such a welcome gift, but if we had to define the reason, a basic answer would be that flowers are simply beautiful.

Morgan Hamilton offers expert advice and great tips regarding all aspects concerning gardening. Get the information you are seeking now by visiting A Great Way to Send Flowers to Delhi site and look at quality flower delivery in Delhi.

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