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December 21 - 27 2011
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
Deadly tablets Paracetamol kills mother who took ‘a few extra’ pills
Badger cull gets go-ahead Huge security operation around mass shooting of wild animals
Bublé confesses My big mouth gets me into trouble — but I just can’t help it
Chinese warning lights go red Credit bubble bursts for the Far East’s powerhouse economy
10 3 25 28 30 43 1 22 35 39 42 48
Bonus Ball 31
Bonus Ball 12
There was one winner of Saturday’s £4.7m jackpot and one winner of Wednesday’s £2.0m prize
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presidential election and claimed that there is “nothing more popular” among France’s politicians “than giving ‘perfidious Albion’ a good kicking”.
Credit-rating agencies are reviewing eurozone ratings following the recent summit, at which Mr Cameron vetoed plans for a new European treaty. Britain has been told that its rating is “stable”.
Fitch said it was considering downgrading the credit ratings of Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus.
Casting doubt on the eurozone’s ability to provide the necessary budget discipline to solve the debt crisis, it added: “Fitch has concluded that a ‘comprehensive solution’ to the eurozone crisis is technically and politically beyond reach.”
Downing Street aides shrugged off French “bleating”, which they said had only served to boost Mr Cameron’s popularity among voters. However, senior Liberal Democrats have grown increasingly alarmed at Britain’s deteriorating relationship with its neighbour over the Channel. On Friday, Lord Oakeshott, a Lib Dem peer who is close to Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, accused the Prime Minister of reaching out to “wackos” in eastern Europe.
“We never should have fallen out with [France and Germany] in the first place,” he said. “Cameron lost an awful lot of credibility with them by linking up with the wackos in eastern Europe.”
He added: “We’re playing silly negotiation games by trying to talk up the Czechs and the Hungarians. This is about making sure that the western European banking systems and economies don’t collapse. Christine Lagarde [the head of the IMF] was absolutely right to say we are in danger of going into isolation and protectionism. Frankly, we’re not going to be in the room.”
The relationship between Mr Sarkozy and Mr Cameron is thought to have deteriorated to such an extent that resolving the diplomatic crisis was left to their deputies. In a statement, the
Cabinet Office said Mr Fillon called Mr Clegg from Rio de Janeiro “to clarify his recent comments about the UK’s credit rating”. It said: “Fillon made clear it had not been his intention to call into question the UK’s rating but to highlight that ratings agencies appeared more focused on economic governance than deficit levels.”
The statement continued: “The Deputy Prime Minister accepted his explanation but made the point that recent remarks from members of the French government about the UK economy were simply unacceptable and that steps should be taken to calm the rhetoric.”
Mr Fillon is said to have agreed and the two men arranged “to discuss economic co-operation” in the coming days.
On Friday night, a draft version of the proposed new EU treaty was published. Unlike previous treaties, the pact will come into force when nine out of the 17 eurozone countries have ratified it, meaning it cannot be blocked by referendums or national parliaments.
‘It’s a triple A battery. I’m reminding the French of our credit rating’
‘The Thompsons have invited us to their drinks party as non-participating observers’
‘Snow AND a war of words with France. This is going to be the perfect Christmas’
By Tim Ross Political Correspondent ED MILIBAND admitted last week that Labour faces a “long journey” back to power, as he overcame the first major test of his leadership at the ballot box.
Labour retained the west-London parliamentary seat of Feltham and Heston, increasing the party’s share of the vote in the by-election to more than 50 per cent. Mr Miliband dismissed criticism of his recent Commons performances as “Westminster-village gossip”, and insisted that most members of the public were more concerned about jobs.
He has caused concern among his own MPs after a series of uninspiring appearances in the Commons, and recent national opinion polls showing the Conservatives in the lead for the first time this year.
However, the Labour leader told a national newspaper: “I always said it would be a long journey to be just a one-term opposition.”
On a night that saw a turnout of under 29 per cent — the lowest in a by-election for 11 years — the Labour candidate Seema Malhotra won with a majority of 6,203. Mr Miliband claimed that the result, which saw a substantial swing away from the Conservatives to Labour,
represented “a verdict on this government’s failing economic plan”.
The Liberal Democrats, who have been struggling in national opinion polls, suffered a sharp fall in their share of the vote and narrowly avoided the humiliation of being beaten into fourth place by the UK Independence Party.
The Conservative vote share was down from 34 per cent to 28 per cent, while the Lib Dems dropped from nearly 14 per cent to under six per cent. Labour won 54 per cent of the vote.
The by-election was caused by the death last month of Alan Keen, the veteran Labour MP.
By Robert Winnett Political Editor THE European financial crisis is “escalating” and is so serious that it is unlikely to be solved by eurozone countries alone, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned last Thursday.
British taxpayers are now likely to be involved in an internationally co-ordinated bail-out led by the International Monetary Fund [IMF] for countries in the single currency.
Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, said the escalating crisis now needed to be addressed as “collectively as possible”. Without action, the world faces the spectre of a 1930sstyle depression, she said.
Mrs Lagarde spoke out after other European countries indicated that they were unlikely to back a new treaty designed to shore up the single currency.
Hungary and the Czech Republic said they would not agree to any new deal that involved European-wide taxes. David Cameron has already vetoed any British involvement. Last week, the head of the IMF described the prospects for the global economy as “quite gloomy”.
“There is no economy in the world, whether lowincome countries, emerging markets, middle-income countries or super-advanced economies, that will be immune to the crisis that we see not only unfolding but escalating,” Mrs Lagarde said.
“If the international community doesn’t work together, the risk from an economic point of view is that of retraction, rising protectionism, isolation. This is exactly the description of what happened in the Thirties and what followed is not something we are looking forward to.”
She added: “It is not a crisis that will be resolved by one group of countries taking action. It is going to be hopefully resolved by all countries, all regions, all categories of countries actually taking action.”
Mrs Lagarde said global economic leaders needed to take a holistic approach toward addressing systemic weaknesses, such as those exposed by the current euro crisis. “It is going to require efforts, it is going to require adjustment, and clearly it is going to have to start from the core of the crisis at the moment, which is obviously the European countries and in particular the countries of the eurozone,” she said.
The remarks were her most outspoken warning yet on the need for co-ordinated international action.