Friday Newspaper round up

Eurozone leaders face a new round of brinkmanship over Greece’s €174bn bailout after international lenders failed to bridge differences on how to reduce Athens’ burgeoning debt levels, pushing the country perilously close to defaulting on a €5bn debt payment due next week. Officials had hoped to finalise the new programme, which extends Greece’s rescue two years to 2016, at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday. That would free up a long-delayed €31.3bn aid payment desperately sought by Athens.  Says the Financial Times

Germany’s Angela Merkel on Wednesday warned Britain not to turn its back on Europe and urged its Prime Minister David Cameron to work with her to avoid deadlock at European Union budget talks later this month. The leaders met in London to try to iron out differences over the EU’s €1 trillion (£800.5bn) budget that threaten to block a deal and fuel fears that London is drifting away from the 27-nation union. Describing plans to increase the EU budget as “ludicrous”, Cameron has threatened to veto any deal he thinks is not in Britain’s interests and will push for a real-terms freeze. Reports The Telegraph

Shop Direct, the home shopping group owned by the Barclay brothers, is considering acquiring the brand and website of the failed electricals retailer, Comet, which is to start closing some stores next week. A host of retailers – including the discounter B&M Bargains, the single price retailer 99p Stores, and the homewares chain Dunelm – are among those looking to buy parcels of Comet’s shops on both short and long-term leases from the administrator, Deloitte. The 236-store chain collapsed into administration last week just nine months after it had been acquired by OpCapita, the private investment firm whose chief executive is Henry Jackson, for a token £2. Quotes The Independent

Oil cartel Opec acknowledged the growing importance of unconventional ‘shale’ oil reserves for the first time on Thursday – as it cut its oil demand forecasts on fears over eurozone growth. In its annual world oil outlook report, Opec – whose 12 members include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela – said: “Shale oil represents a large change to the supply picture.” While in previous reports “no significant shale oil contribution to liquids supply was envisaged,” this year “a rise in the importance of shale oil is expected” Opec said. The Telegraph

Pay has risen at a faster rate for Britain’s biggest earners than for anyone else over the past 25 years, according to research published yesterday. The top 1% of full-time workers have enjoyed a 117% surge in between 1986 and 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics. The top 10 per cent and bottom 10% received increases of 81 per cent and 47%, respectively. According to The Times

The tax affairs of every Briton with an HSBC bank account in Jersey are being examined by Revenue & Customs after a whistleblower leaked a list of names, addresses and account balances. HMRC officials are trawling through a list of more than 4,000 people based in Britain after it was handed over this week. The list is understood to include serious criminals and celebrities. The Times

Join the Forum discussion on this post

You may also like...