Ovi -
we cover every issue
Poverty - Homeless  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
Join Ovi in Facebook
Ovi Language
Books by Avgi Meleti
WordsPlease - Inspiring the young to learn
Tony Zuvela - Cartoons, Illustrations
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
British report British report
by Euro Reporter
2011-10-18 07:19:39
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon
Economy likely to stall next year in wake of eurozone crisis

A slowdown in the world economy and the prospect of a prolonged debt crisis in the eurozone will keep the UK economy at a virtual standstill next year, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Inflation figures on Wednesday are expected to show the consumer prices index nudging 5%, while the think-tank has forecast GDP will grow just 0.7% in 2012 because of a weakening global economy. The CEBR has also revised down its forecasts for growth this year to 0.6% from a range of 1.0% to 1.5%. In a report today, it said global growth was likely to be severely disrupted by market volatility on the back of the ongoing eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

"A Lehmans-style financial crisis in the eurozone now looks highly likely," the CEBR economists argue. "This crisis threatens to severely curb the potential for export demand and business investment to drive the UK economy in the short term – something which is necessary to offset the negative impact of government spending cuts and weak consumer demand following the decade of debt-fuelled spending." With signs the recovery is stalling, trade unions and Labour MPs have called for the government to rethink its austerity drive and move the short-term focus to boosting growth rather than cutting spending.

But the CEBR says such a change would be politically damaging and risks unnerving markets focused on government debt levels. The think-tank says that instead the onus to prevent a double-dip recession lies with the Bank of England, which has already pumped fresh electronic money into markets this month. "Interest rates now look set to remain on hold until mid-2013 and more quantitative easing … is almost certainly on the cards," the CEBR report predicts. Launching its own plan for growth and jobs last week, the Labour party argued lack of growth threatened to widen the UK's deficit further, outweighing any fiscal benefits from austerity measures.


Protesters camp outside St Paul's

Several hundred anti-capitalist protesters set up camp outside St Paul's Cathedral this weekend, pitching tents, politely waving placards and even setting up a makeshift kitchen. The Occupy London demonstration - which began on Saturday as part of global protests against corporate greed and state cutbacks - had dwindled to some 200 people in the Sunday afternoon autumn sunshine as it entered a second day. There were about 70 tents close to the cathedral, but the demonstration was greatly reduced from Saturday, when 2000 to 3000 people had joined the protest. 'We will stay as long as we need to,' said graphic designer Justin, 27, who declined to give his surname, adding that he was protesting due to 'disillusion with our current economic system'.

The Europe-wide protests - ranging from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, and London to Rome - were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement born in New York earlier this year amid growing public anger over the financial sector. 'I've been following the movement since it started in May and I've been looking forward very much to see it in London,' said teacher Frank Mills, 21. The Metropolitan Police has described the London event as largely calm and peaceful, while a total of just eight people have been arrested for mostly public order offences. Police have meanwhile blocked off access to nearby Paternoster Square, which is where the London Stock Exchange is situated, amid fears that rally organisers OccupyLSX could target the building.

Protest placards told their own story of quiet outrage, particularly over the behaviour of the banking sector in the run-up to the global financial crisis - and contrasting bank bailouts with painful public spending cuts. 'Keep Calm And Occupy London,' read one banner. Another declared: 'Bail out people, Not the banks.' One stated simply: 'We are 99%.' Demonstrators described their protest as a 'general people assembly' with no leader and no hierarchy. A rudimentary kitchen was set up - effectively a long table filled with cake, biscuits and bottles of water - as well as a media tent and a medical centre. 'We've been sold the idea that austerity packages are necessary, but it's only bringing recession,' graphic designer Justin said. 'Banks are granting bonuses and they're not paying back a single penny. 'There needs to be a greater sense of accountability, greater regulation. The banks have been given free reign by deregulation.'


UK fund manager wants Murdochs off News Corp board

A British fund manager on Friday called for Rupert Murdoch to resign as chairman of News Corp. as a step toward restoring trust in the global media company. The British firm Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which manages more than $140 billion of assets, also called for Murdoch's sons James and Lachlan and affiliated directors to be replaced by what it called "credible outside directors."

"News Corp. has not reacted with sufficient urgency to investor concerns about its board composition and corporate culture," said Hermes' director, Jennifer Walmisley. Earlier this week, another group, Institutional Shareholder Services, had urged shareholders to toss out the entire 15-member board at News Corp.'s annual general meeting in Los Angeles on Oct. 21. Questions about News Corp. governance flared after one of the company's British newspapers, the News of the World tabloid, was shut down amid a scandal over illegal telephone hacking and alleged bribery of U.K. police officers. The scandal has claimed the resignations of several top Murdoch executives, and several former employees have been arrested. There was further embarrassment for New Corp. this week by reports that the Wall Street Journal Europe had published two articles as part of a deal with a supporter to distribute cut-price copies to students.

Hermes, which represents about one-half of 1 percent of News Corp. shares, said it would not vote next week for the re-election of directors Arthur Siskind and Andrew Knight because of concerns about their independence. Both have been on the board since 1991. The Murdochs control the company through a family trust that owns 38 percent of voting shares worth $5.1 billion. Institutional Shareholder Services said the U.K. hacking scandal "laid bare a striking lack of stewardship and failure of independence by a board whose inability to set a strong tone-at-the-top about unethical business practices has now resulted in enormous costs." It also called for shareholders to vote against a pay package that gave Rupert Murdoch a bonus of $12.5 million for the past fiscal year. The vote would not be binding.

Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi