Thursday, 16 October 2008

Newspapers : 16th October

Brown urges EU to rebuild financial institutions. Bruno Waterfield , The Telegraph (en) " ... But his new message ... is that future financial reforms must be global rather than European. He also gave no signal that Britain would soften its longstanding hostility to more European regulation.
"Phase two is to make sure that the problems that developed in the financial system, problems that we know started in America, that these problems do not return again," he said.
"Ten or 20 years ago we had national and European capital markets. We now have global markets. If we are going to sort out global financial problems that are recognised as global so the IMF [International Monetary Fund] has to be rebuilt as fit for purpose for the modern world." ... ... José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President, has warned well rewarded City high fliers that the focus was shifting from bail-outs to payback. "Once we have put financial markets back on their feet, we must ensure they function properly so that they serve citizens and business rather than themselves. There must be no more business as usual," ..."

Angela Merkel: world is facing most challenging financial crisis since 1920s. Michael Levitin, The Telegraph (en)
" ... "We must prepare ourselves for a weakening of growth in Germany," Merkel said ...

He can save the world, but can he fix Britain? Mary Riddell, The Telegraph (en)
"... The crisis continues. "This is the end of the beginning," says someone at No 10, where no Churchillian allusion goes unmissed. In the real world, phase two has already begun. Unemployment is at its highest since 1991; two million could be out of work by Christmas ...
... With recession a certainty, Mr Brown has asked his National Economic Council to come up with plans for protecting jobs and families, as well as helping first-time home buyers and the elderly. There will be no cuts in health and education spending; the focus on energy efficiency will be strengthened.

While Brown basks in plaudits, Sarkozy seethes. Andrew Grice, The Independent (en)
" ... Gordon Brown used to infuriate his European Union counterparts by turning up late for meetings, lecturing them on Britain's economic miracle, switching off his headphones when others spoke in foreign tongues and then leaving early ...
... M. Sarkozy is said to be "furious" that the media has portrayed the EU proposals as a British blueprint. He is even reported to have told several people: "The British plan is something that we worked out for them." One French official said yesterday: "We find it pretty astounding that Brown is now basking in all the glory. The truth is that it was in the pipeline all the time." ..."

A crisis that has vindicated the European Union . Leading article, The Independent (en) "... What US and non-EU observers have noted, however, is that after some irritated huffing and puffing, some predictable striking of national poses and playing to party political galleries, the Europeans have been getting their act together ...
... From warnings that the euro could be strained to breaking point, expressions of relief can be heard around the world about its stabilising effect. Near-bankrupt Iceland has revived the question of EU membership. Negative comparisons are routinely drawn between the capacity of the US and the EU to act, despite the fact that the US, unlike the EU, is a sovereign state. In this crisis, the European Union for all its differences has so far acted quickly and cohesively – to the envy of some of our transatlantic friends ..."

Poland's squabbling rivals argue over flight . David Charter and Roger Boyes, The Times (en)
" ... While Europe's leaders fretted over the future of capitalism Poland's finest statesmen had only one thing on their minds: who would get the official jet bound for the Brussels summit ...
...Relations between Mr Tusk and Mr Kaczynski have been deteriorating steadily this year and lawyers are exchanging writs over who should represent the country formally abroad on different occasions. Some diplomats have observed that before Mr Tusk won power last year it did not matter who attended the summit for Poland since the President's identical twin with near-identical conservative views, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, was then Prime Minister ..."

Sarkozy calms the crisis. Charles Bremner, The Times (en)
" ... At the cost of bad feeling between them, Sarkozy brought Merkel into a joint operation which she had refused only a week earlier on the grounds that each EU state should clean up its own mess ... Paris and its supporters are noting another silver lining from the black cloud that has descended on global markets. This is the ability of the European nations to act in political concert in the interests of the single currency ...
... The European leaders feel a certain pride in operating independently of the United States, which has been the moving force in just about all crisis management of the global economy since 1945. It has not gone un-noticed that, in Washington, the International Monetary Fund is asserting itself with a voice of its own, in the shape of its boss, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French Socialist whose appointment Sarkozy secured last year ..."

Run on Russian bank heightens fears. Charles Clover and Catherine Belton, The FT (en)
" ... Globex on Wednesday banned depositors from withdrawing their money as confidence in the Russian banking system began to show signs of ­evaporating ...
... Banks across Russia have faced a rise in outflows as depositors have begun to lose trust in all but the biggest state banks, VTB and Sberbank, which have received most of the government’s liquidity support ...

EU leaders set ambitious climate change task. Tony Barber, The FT (en)
" ... According to a draft communiqué, EU heads of state and government will commit themselves to reaching a final agreement in December on a drastic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and on boosting renewable energy use ..."

Mob Muscles Its Way Into Politics in Bulgaria. By Doreen Carvajal and Stephen Castle, The NYT (en)
" ... “Other countries have the mafia,” said Atanas Atanasov, a member of Parliament and a former counterintelligence chief who is a magnet for leaked documents exposing corruption. “In Bulgaria, the mafia has the country.”..."

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