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Last update: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 05pm

Europe

World - Europe

Osborne might have to raise UK taxes or slash spending to hit target LONDON: Finance minister George Osborne may have to resort to big tax hikes or a new round of deep spending cuts to meet his target of turning Britain's budget deficit into a surplus by the end of the decade, the head of a leading economic think tank said on Thursday.Osborne has little wiggle room after Britain's budget forecasters said the economy was set to grow much more slowly than they had previously thought, Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said on Thursday."If things change again, if the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) downgrades its growth forecasts again, I don't think he will be able to get away with anything like this," Johnson told BBC radio."I think he will be forced to put some proper tax increases in or possibly even to find some yet further proper spending cuts," he said.Osborne delivered an annual budget statement in Wednesday ...

World - Europe

Euro zone consumer prices fall in Feb confirmed BRUSSELS: Euro zone consumer prices fell 0.2 percent year-on-year in February, the European Union's statistics office said on Thursday confirming its earlier estimate and economists' forecasts.On a monthly basis inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro went up by 0.2 percent, Eurostat said, slightly above forecasts. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.1 percent increase.Core inflation, which in the European Central Bank's definition excludes the more volatile prices of energy and unprocessed food, ...

World - Europe

Turkey's parliament should lift immunity from prosecution for all parties: PM ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday proposed parliament lift the immunity from prosecution for all lawmakers and collectively review the 506 outstanding dossiers.Parliament must look at the dossiers in one session in order to prevent delays to legislation required by the European Union to win visa liberalisation with the bloc, Davutoglu told a business group in comments broadcast live.Lawmakers are expected to debate stripping immunity for members of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), ...

World - Europe

Russia can make powerful Syria comeback within hours: Putin MOSCOW: Vladimir Putin said Russia's military success in Syria had allowed him to order a partial draw down of forces, but stressed the Kremlin could scale up its presence again within hours and would continue to carry out air strikes there.Speaking in the Kremlin three days after he ordered Russian forces to partially withdraw from Syria, the Russian president said the smaller strike force he had left behind in his closest Middle East ally was ...

World - Europe

Germany pushes EU-Turkey deal as 'real chance' to end migrant crisis BERLIN: Germany on Wednesday lobbied for an EU-Turkey deal on migrants on the eve of a crucial Brussels summit but cautioned the bloc would not endorse an agreement at any cost.Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin that the scheme could offer "for the first time, a real chance" of a solution.But, she said, the European Union would stand firm on civil rights in Turkey and Ankara's bid to eventually join the 28-nation club is "not ...

World - Europe

Slovak PM Fico says parties to split cabinet seats, deal close BRATISLAVA: Four Slovak parties led by the leftist Smer have reached an agreement on sharing out portfolios in a new government, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Wednesday. The agreement is a significant step towards forming a coalition including three small centrist and right-wing parties, which will allow Fico to stay in power after his Smer party lost its parliamentary majority in a March 5 election. "We have reached an agreement on the will to ...

World - Europe

EU regulators want more info on Apple's Irish tax deal BRUSSELS/DUBLIN: European Union antitrust regulators have asked Ireland to provide further details on the country's tax deal with Apple before deciding whether this constitutes illegal state aid to the iPhone maker.The European Commission, which has been investigating the Apple deal for more than two years, said on Wednesday that Irish authorities had not responded fully to an earlier query. "Ireland did not reply in full to the Commission's last request for information, which is why ...