Group Danone, bottler of Evian water, said net income dropped 62% in 2004 as it reduced the value of its water cooler business by €600 million due to slow growth.

Norway and the UK have signed a deal over North Sea projects. The UK/Norway Framework Treaty will allow both parties greater access to undersea oil reserves.

Growth analysts Frost & Sullivan have predicted a huge spur in demand for coagulants and flocculants in the water industries of the new Europe as a result of EU directives on drinking water and urban waste water. The CEE-8 – comprising Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are expected to drive demand at a growth rate of 11% from €62.1 million in 2004 to €129 million in 2011.

The European Commissioner for Competition, Mrs Neelie Kroes, has today been asked to investigate an intended subsidy scheme for the nuclear industry in Slovakia. Friends of the Earth Europe and two Slovak environmental organisations have filed a formal complaint alleging that a plan to levy ALL electricity consumers in order to fund future nuclear decommissioning would be unlawful under EC law and so should not proceed.

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