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Teatime newslinks for Thursday 1st December 2011

PUBLIC SECTOR PENSIONS

  • Ministers appear to have abandoned an end-of-the-year deadline for pensions talks. They now claim there is no deadline. Paul Waugh reports: "The unions have long claimed that the threat of the mass action yesterday actually resulted in the improved offer that Maude and Alexander came up with earlier this month. 'See, strikes work' say some trade unionists. Could it be that far from being 'futile', yesterday's action has prompted some more movement?" - Paul Waugh
  • Michael Gove: "Officials have been talking to the general secretaries and others from teaching unions today and those negotiations have been constructive and cordial and they’ll be carrying on next week as well and I hope in due course we’ll be able to reach an agreement." - PolHome (£)
  • UNISON official attacked "scab" union members who refused to go on strike - Sky News

EUROZONE

  • "German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to snub investor pleas to back an expanded European Central Bank role in solving the debt crisis, as she pushes her demand for tighter economic ties in Europe as the only way forward." - Bloomberg
  • "Banks should brace themselves to withstand the "extraordinarily serious and threatening" economic situation, the Bank of England governor has said. The Bank's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said the eurozone crisis was the biggest threat to the UK's banking system. It said banks should build up their financial buffers to withstand that." - BBC
  • "EU governments will be allowed to apply softer rules to banks they bail out because of the impact of the sovereign debt crisis and the near-freezing of inter-bank lending, it emerged on Thursday." - Guardian
  • Financial Times liveblog of the Eurozone crisis
  • ToryDiary: Grayling denies challenge drop to EU working time rules

IRANIAN EMBASSY
  • "European Union finance ministers agreed Thursday to examine measures aimed at "severely affecting" Iran's financial, transport and energy sectors, but stopped short of mentioning an oil embargo or restrictions on Iranian oil exports. The statement represents a watering down of EU ambitions to set on a clear path to agreeing to oil sanctions. It follows earlier drafts of the statement that specifically said the EU would consider an oil embargo." - WSJ Europe
  • "Alistair Burt warned that if Iran continued to refuse to engage with the international community “the pressure will get more intense”." - PolHome (£)

JEREMY CLARKSON

  • "The BBC has received 4,700 complaints over comments made by Jeremy Clarkson in which he said members of the public sector should be 'executed' for going on strike." - Daily Telegraph
  • "Jeremy Clarkson should be sacked by the BBC over his "appalling" comments about killing striking public sector workers, trade union Unison has said. The union said it was considering reporting the Top Gear presenter to the police over comments on The One Show." - BBC
  • Ed Miliband's reaction at a public meeting today: "absolutely disgraceful and disgusting comments, and I think they are outrageous and Jeremy Clarkson should apologise for those comments, because he obviously doesn't understand the lives of the people who were going out on strike yesterday." - PolHome (£)
  • North Warwickshire's Tory MP Dan Byles tweets in: "Irony of union calling [for] employee [to be] summarily dismissed?"
  • Sky News tweet: "Jeremy Clarkson has apologised for his comments on striking workers during a BBC interview"

OTHER POLITICAL NEWS

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