Friday 23 February 2018

What's happening around the world

Governments in the UK, France and Germany spent much of the week jockeying for position in relation to the future of defence giants EADS and BAE Systems.

A proposed $45bn (€34.5bn) tie-up of EADS and BAE Systems would create the world's biggest defence and aerospace company.

It is highly sensitive, not only because of the nature of the products involved, but because the company will be among Europe's biggest manufacturing concerns. Germany is pushing for a merged company, with the headquarters to be in Munich.

The UK wants France and Germany to reduce their government-controlled stakes in defence firm EADS, before it will allow a merger with UK-based BAE Systems.

Some 45 backbench members of parliament with the ruling Conservative Party have written to UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressing concern at the risk to British jobs and security.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Greece this week for the first time since the country's still-raw bailout.

The German chancellor is expected to tell Greeks that she wants to keep their country in the euro. She faces a hostile reception from a people worn down by years of austerity and recession.

Many Greeks in turn blame Germany for demanding unprecedented spending cuts and tax hikes. She has been caricatured as a bullying Nazi -- and a large crowd is expected to attend protests on tomorrow.

Applications for the post of Governor of the Bank of England are due in this morning in London.

UK Chancellor George Osborne will discover how many people have applied for the post -- including whether any of the current favourites have put their hands up.

Mervyn King's replacement will be hired for an eight-year term, at the helm of the UK central bank with responsibility for monetary policy and regulating banks.

Current Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker; Financial Services Authority chairman Adair Turner; Independent Commission on Banking Chairman John Vickers and the former head of the British civil service Gus O'Donnell are all tipped as potential candidates to succeed King when he steps down next June.

In review. . .

washington: Markets in the US and Europe were boosted last Friday by new data showing US joblessness at the lowest rate in 44 months -- a boost for President Barack Obama as November's election draws near.

However, the figures prompted claims by some supporters of Republican challenger Mitt Romney that the Obama administration had doctored September's unemployment figures for political gain.

Jack Welch, the former chief executive officer of General Electric sparked an internet frenzy by suggesting on social networking website Twitter that the unemployment figures were "unbelievable".

Former presidential hopeful Senator John McCain also questioned the figures.

Despite the furore, economic experts from the two main US political parties said there was no question over the US Bureau of Labour Statistics data.

ottawa: Canadian employment rose more than five times faster than economists predicted in September, despite fears the economy there could be damaged by the euro crisis.

Employment rose by 52,100 in September, well ahead of August's gain of 34,300, Statistics Canada said.

Canadian employers held a jobs event in Dublin over the weekend in an effort to find workers to fill vacancies in the country.

The job gain exceeded all 24 forecasts in a Bloomberg economist survey.

Retailers and wholesalers added 34,100 workers in September. Construction employment grew 28,800 following a decline of 44,000 in August.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in a statement that he is "encouraged" by the job report, which he said shows Canada has "the best job creation record in the entire G7".

Irish Independent

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