LONDON/ATHENS Feb 3 (Reuters) – Greece’s new government
dropped calls for a write-off of its foreign debt and proposed
ending a standoff with its official creditors by swapping the
debt for growth-linked bonds on Monday, a week after its
election on an anti-austerity platform.
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, in London to reassure
private investors that he was not seeking a showdown with
Brussels over a new debt agreement, said the new left-wing
government would spare privately held bonds from losses, a
source told Reuters.
NICOSIA/LONDON (Reuters) – Greece sought to reassure international investors on Monday that it was not in a Wild West-style standoff with European partners over a new debt agreement, although sparring partner Germany gave no ground after a tough first week.
Spurning neckties, new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his pugnacious finance minister Yanis Varoufakis are touring European capitals in a diplomatic offensive to replace Greece’s bailout accord with the European Union, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund, known as the “troika”.
NICOSIA/LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras ruled out seeking aid from Russia and said on
Monday he would pursue negotiations for a new debt agreement
with European partners, but saw little sign of compromise from
Tsipras and his finance minister Yanis Varoufakis are
touring European capitals this week in a diplomatic offensive to
replace Greece’s bailout accord with the European Union,
European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund “troika”.
LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Britain said on Monday it would
ban fracking in national parks, reversing a policy announced
last year, in a concession to the opposition Labour Party which
had called for tighter controls to be written into law.
“We have agreed an outright ban on fracking in national
parks, sites of special interest and areas of natural beauty,”
said junior energy minister Amber Rudd during a debate on new
laws regulating the extraction process.
LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – New delays to a major report into
Britain’s role in the Iraq War sparked fears on Wednesday that
the public would conclude an inquiry’s long-awaited findings had
been “sexed down” to prevent criticism of former high-profile
The investigation, headed by former civil servant John
Chilcot, was set up six years ago by former prime minister
Gordon Brown to learn lessons from the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of
Iraq, which ousted Saddam Hussein, and its aftermath.
LONDON (Reuters) – Intelligence agencies and technology companies need to agree on data-sharing to keep attacks like those in Paris earlier this month from becoming commonplace, the former head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service said on Tuesday.
John Sawers, speaking in public for the first time since leaving the Secret Intelligence Service in November, said trust between governments and technology companies had been shattered and needed to be rebuilt.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks is hampered by outdated laws that are “no longer fit for purpose”, a former MI5 chief said in an interview published on Sunday, as the government considers new powers to monitor the Internet.
Jonathan Evans, director-general of MI5 from 2007 to 2013, said laws should allow the intelligence services to properly monitor possible threats to national security.
LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – British finance minister George
Osborne said he would need to decide quickly about a sale of the
government’s stake in the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland
after May’s election, adding he hoped to be able to
recover taxpayers’ money.
Osborne also gave more details of his plans to fix
Britain’s public finances, saying he would hand independent
budget forecasters the power to say when the government could
stray from running a surplus if the economy ran into trouble.
LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – British lawmakers on Wednesday
voted against giving energy regulators the power to force
utility firms to lower prices when wholesale costs fall,
rejecting a bid by the opposition Labour Party designed to win
over voters before an election in May.
Labour called the vote to try and shift the political debate
onto energy prices, an issue they have used successfully in the
past to show that voters’ living standards have fallen since
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron won power in 2010.
LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Britain’s two main political
parties committed to an ambitious set of fiscal targets on
Tuesday, but fierce disagreement over how they should be
interpreted and achieved laid bare their political attack lines
ahead of May’s national election.
The May 7 vote is likely to be one of the closest in a
generation and the future of Britain’s economy, namely how
aggressively the next government should set about reducing a
large budget deficit, may be one of its defining issues.