Monday, 29 September 2008

Newspapers : 29th September

Wolfgang Münchau: Paulson’s problem presents lessons for us all. Wolfgang Münchau, The FT (en)

China aims for military might. Thomas Harding, The Telegraph (en)
"... The rapid growth of China's navy is matched by its desire to expand into the Indian Ocean and South China Sea to feed resources into its voracious economy ...
... The analysts, from Jane's Information Group, believe that the Chinese Communist Party can only continue to rule the country if it maintains economic growth at more than 10 per cent ... China is developing a modern highly manoeuvrable force able to operate anywhere as good if not better than Western armies ... "

Merkel stung in Bavarian polls. Bruno Waterfield , The Telegraph (en)
" ... The CSU, which has ruled Bavaria since 1957 and held an absolute majority since 1962, suffered a major defeat as its share of the vote crashed to 43 per cent, well below the 60.7 per cent it won five years ago.

Anti-foreigner campaign boosts Austrian far-right . Tony Paterson , The Independent (en)
" ... The election was held a year earlier than planned after infighting caused the collapse of the country's 18-month grand coalition of Social Democrats and conservatives in July. Austria lowered the voting age from 18 to 16 for the poll – enabling an extra 200,000 young people to take part. However, many complained that they were too ill-informed to do so.
The result appeared to leave Austria with an uncertain political future as both main parties said prior to the election that they were reluctant to form another grand coalition or join forces with the far right ... "

Hague ready to hold Europe referendum . Jonathan Oliver, The Times (en)
" ... “The integration of Europe will have gone too far. We won’t let matters rest.”
A referendum would be popular with the Tories’ Eurosceptic MPs and grassroots activists who believe that the European Union reform treaty undermines Britain’s national sovereignty. But it would be resisted by some of David Cameron’s strategists, who would fear that a prolonged debate on the minutiae of EU procedures would be a turn-off to voters.

CIA ‘backed’ Irish battle against Brussels treaty . Nicola Smith, The times (en)
" ... The European parliament wants an inquiry into whether Declan Ganley, the multi-millionaire chairman of the Libertas group that campaigned against the treaty, could be in the pockets of US defence and intelligence services ..."

Nuclear Power. Leading Article, The Times
" ... the structure of this deal says much about the limits of nuclear power’s appeal to the private sector. EDF has agreed to meet all nuclear waste management and decommissioning costs associated with any new plants it builds in Britain. But it will not have to pay for inherited waste and decommissioning work at the sites that it is buying. That cost will fall to the taxpayer. Nor will it confront many planning hurdles: the single most valuable asset that EDF is buying is the right to build new reactors on existing nuclear sites.

Brussels extends import tax on shoes. Alan Beattie, The FT (en)
" ... Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner, said the “anti-dumping” duties imposed two years ago – levied against imports deemed to be priced unfairly low – would remain, pending a review. Officials said they would try to complete the review in half the usual 12- to 15-month period, raising the possibility that the duties could be lifted as early as spring ..."

US ‘will lose financial superpower status’. Bertrand Benoit,
" ...“The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multi­polar” with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück (German finance minister) told the German parliament. “The world will never be the same again.” ...
... He blamed Washington for refusing to consider proposals Berlin had made as it chaired the Group of Eight industrial nations last year. These proposals, he said, “elicited mockery at best or were seen as a typical example of Germans’ penchant for over-regulation”.
... Mr Steinbrück’s proposals include a ban on “purely speculative short selling”; a crackdown on variable pay for bank managers, which had encouraged reckless risk-taking; a ban on banks securitising more than 80 per cent of the debt they hold; international standards making bank managers personally responsible for the consequences of their trades; and increased co-operation between European super­visors ..."

Analysis: Nuclear fusion. Ed Crooks, Kate Burgess and Peggy Hollinger, The FT (en)
The UK government’s role in the EDF deal has been central: first in creating an environment in which companies would think about investing, and second in closing off the Centrica option favoured by Invesco and M&G.
There is still work to do to establish Britain’s nuclear framework: reform of the planning system, certainty about the rewards for low-carbon generation and training of nuclear engineers. But Mr Hutton describes the government as “100 per cent committed” to new nuclear investment – and its actions over British Energy bear him out.

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