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French MPs to debate recognition of Palestine PARIS: French lawmakers were to debate on Friday a motion urging the government to recognise Palestine as a state, amid growing European frustration at the moribund Middle East peace process.The symbolic motion is expected to pass comfortably on December 2 when the lower house of parliament votes on the text proposed by the ruling Socialists.The vote comes hot on the heels of a similar resolution approved by British lawmakers on October 13, Spanish MPs on November 18 and the formal recognition by Sweden on October 30.The text "invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict".It is non-binding on the government, although Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told AFP in a recent interview that France would "obviously at a certain moment recognise the Palestinian state".The Socialist MP who drafted the text, Elisabeth Guigou, told AFP the ...

Indonesian officials ordered to eat street food to trim budget JAKARTA:- Indonesia has ordered officials to eat local street food at meetings instead of fancy foreign fare and stop holding lavish parties, the latest moves by the new government to crack down on bureaucratic excess.Snacks such as cassava, steamed corn and yam cakes should be served at official gatherings and the number of guests invited to high-ranking bureaucrats' parties should be limited to 400, a minister said.President Joko Widodo, who took office last month and ...

Chinese lawyers fear draft law will muzzle them BEIJING: Lawyers in China fear a proposal to make insulting or defaming court personnel a crime will restrict their freedom to defend their clients, a prominent advocate said Friday, weeks after the Communist Party pledged to ensure the "rule of law".The revision to the criminal law, which would punish those who "seriously disrupt the order of the court" with a minimum three years in prison, was published soon after a key meeting of party leaders ...

China to push football education to raise level of game BEIJING: China is mandating football courses at more and more schools to raise the level of the game and bolster its ambitions as a power in global sport, state media reported Friday.The world's most populous country has long been a powerhouse in sports such as gymnastics, diving, table tennis and badminton.But despite a domestic football league that offers foreign managers and players lucrative contracts, the national side remains a lowly 99th place in Fifa's global ...

Spanish prices fall for fifth straight month in November MADRID: Spanish consumer prices fell for the fifth straight month in November, official figures showed on Thursday, amid concern that the eurozone is at risk of sliding into deflation.Spain's EU-harmonised inflation rate was minus 0.5 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a 0.2 percent fall in October, preliminary figures from the national statistics institute showed."This decline was caused, almost entirely, by a drop in energy prices (electricity and gasoline)," the statistics office ...

German inflation slowdown raises pressure on ECB BERLIN: Annual inflation in Europe's largest economy fell to its lowest level in nearly five years in November, suggesting the risk of deflation in the wider euro zone has not yet abated.Preliminary figures from Germany's Statistics Office on Thursday showed inflation harmonised to compare with other European countries dropped to 0.5 percent from 0.7 percent in October, undershooting a consensus forecast of 0.6 percent. On the month, the cost of living was unchanged using this ...

India's GDP growth set to weaken, business wants reforms more than rate cut MUMBAI: Anticipating data out on Friday will show weakening economic growth, India's finance ministry will argue for an interest rate cut, but bankers and company executives say the key to recovery lies in how fast Prime Minister Narendra Modi acts on reforms."Interest rates are also important, but more important is enabling policy directives from the government to resolve the issues affecting our sector," said K. Rajagopal, chief executive officer of power producer Lanco Power.The Lanco ...


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln