Friday, 3 October 2008

Newspapers : 3rd October

EU 'Big Four' in bailout row. John Lichfield, The Independent (en)
Ukraine discord mars Russia gas talks. Roman Olearchyk and Catherine Belton, The FT (en)

Peter Mandelson to return to Cabinet. Philip Websterm, The Times (en)
" ... The European Trade Commissioner is expected to be made a peer and join the Government as Secretary for Business, sitting in the House of Lords ... If it happens, it would be the most astonishing political reconcilation of modern times. The two men were once close friends and, with Tony Blair, created New Labour. But when Mr Mandelson sided with Mr Blair in the 1994 leadership election, their relationship nose-dived and it has remained frosty ever since ..."
" ... Amid reports that Greek depositors were rushing to withdraw their savings, Greece's Cabinet agreed to protect all deposits whatever their size. Previously the maximum guaranteed was €20,000 (£15,600) ...
... One EU diplomat told The Times that early French thinking on co-ordinated national funds had probably been mistakenly conflated into the idea of an EU fund, given that 3 per cent of EU GDP amounts to around €300 billion.
With the fund off the agenda, Mr Sarkozy finally persuaded Mr Brown and Mrs Merkel to meet him, Silvio Berlusconi, Mr Juncker, José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission chairman, and Jean-Louis Trichet, the chairman of the European Central Bank, in Paris on Saturday afternoon ..."
Sarkozy: French media faces 'death'. Henry Samuel, The Telegraph (en)
"French newspapers are among the least profitable in Europe ... Magazines are faring slightly better, with women's weeklies and glossy gossip titles doing well ...
... Mr Sarkozy insisted there was room in the market both for advertising-funded freesheets and paying high-quality print, but that the sector had to face up to a problem it had failed to tackle for the "past 30 years" and would only get worse ..."

" Senior military officials said that the new ships will be equipped with the country's problem-plagued submarine-launched ballistic missile, the Bulava-30 ... Unable to challenge the West's conventional superiority, Russia has had to rely on its nuclear deterrent. At sea, that has meant developing the Bulava and a fleet of Borei-class nuclear submarines to carry it.
Already three years behind schedule, the Bulava could be launched in 2009, the defence ministry said ...
... n July, Russia also revealed it would build four or five new aircraft carriers to replace the ramshackle Admiral Kuznetsov, the only vessel of its kind in the fleet. While the announcement was seen as a declaration of the Kremlin's ambitions, it also raised eyebrows in the West as Russia has no shipyards capable of building such large vessels.
Critics say the best way to better the country's armed forces is to improve the woeful living standards of its servicemen, most of whom are conscripts, and to tackle corruption. One-third of defence spending is either embezzled or misspent, analysts estimate ..."

Dresden death toll lowered. Bojan Pancevski, The Telegraph (en)
"... a special commission, comprising 13 prominent German historians, has now revealed that the previous figures were exaggerated or derived from dubious sources. Instead, they concluded that no more than 25,000 people died during the attacks, debunking the claims of many revisionist historians who wished to compare the bombing to the Holocaust ... However, the new report does not dispute the severity of the attacks, which only took 63 minutes but claimed a disproportionately large number of victims ..."

" ... The property market went completely out of control on the way up, and is about to do the same on the way down. As it shatters on re-entry to economic reality, the debris will bury Labour's hopes for a fourth term. The house that Tony and Gordon built will be crushed by falling prices."

" ... France will report a contraction in the next two quarters as a weaker job market curbs consumption and exports flag, forecasts from national statistics office INSEE showed on Friday, flagging the arrival of recession ..."
Russia Says U.S. Financial Hegemony Is History. Andrew E Kramer, The NYT (en)
" .. President Dmitri A. Medvedev has blamed what he called financial “egoism” for the crisis and said it should be taken as a sign that America’s global economic leadership was drawing to a close. Along with some European leaders, Mr. Medvedev has called for greater multilateralism in financial regulation, echoing a Russian position on international relations generally ...
... investors are pulling money out of Russia and depositing it in United States Treasury securities because they are considered the safest place to park money. By the time Mr. Medvedev spoke on Thursday, investors had pulled about $52 billion in net private capital out of Russia since the second week of August, when the war in Georgia and political tension with the West heightened concern about political risk here ..."

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