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The paper clip, 12 April

Thursday 12 April 2012

The Spanish newspapers are full of the concerns about Spain's economy. El Mundo, El País and ABC consider the turmoil on the financial markets, austerity measures proposed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and his clash with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that the European Central Bank has hinted it may intervene in the sovereign-bond markets to calm the latest flare-up of the eurozone crisis. Yesterday, ECB member Benoit Cœuré said that moves to lower the yields on Spanish and Italian bonds remained an option.

Romania is in “advanced talks” with the World Bank for a €1 billion loan to shield the nation against the sovereign debt crisis, Finance Minister Bogdan Dragoi said yesterday. Jurnalul National has a report.

The Daily Telegraph says the European Central Bank's €1 trillion “lending spree” has stored up lots of fresh problems, “leaving parts of the banking system more vulnerable than before”. 

Europe's future is not up to the Bundesbank, writes George Soros in the Financial Times. The debt trap threatens to destroy a still-incomplete union, he warns.

According to Financial Times Deutschland a dispute over tax between Switzerland and the US has intensified after a Swiss court prohibited the transfer of personal information from Credit Suisse to the US tax authorities. The paper says that US authorities are now likely to increase pressure on individual Swiss banks. 

Libération reports that French president Nicolas Sarkozy wants to include collectives in future budget cuts.

A 6am deadline for a UN-backed ceasefire in Syria has passed with no immediate reports of fighting, the website of the Irish Times writes. Europe has left Syria to a distinctly Ottoman fate, writes the commentator Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian. On Syria there is a moral case for intervention – but with the west reluctant, Turkey and other powers will be the ones to decide, he writes. 

Telegraf of Belarus writes that two Belarusians and two Russians are being tried in Libya for allegedly working as mercenaries for the regime of the late dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Bulgaria's government decided yesterday to start building a reactor at its Kozloduy nuclear plant after deciding to abandon its Belene nuclear project. Dnevnik and Trud have reports.

David Cameron, the British prime minister, will today say that democracy and Islam can flourish together, the Guardian writes. Cameron is in Indonesia as part of a tour of Asia that also includes a visit to Myanmar. The Indonesian island of Sumatra was yesterday hit by a major earthquake, the Guardian writes. The quake measured 8.6 on the Richter scale, and was followed by an 8.2 aftershock. 

“Beijing's power struggle is bigger than America's”, is a headline in the UK's Independent. The backdrop to the events surrounding Bo Xilai is provided by a huge debate about the country's future, writes a commentator. Xilai was toppled as a major regional player amid a scandal involving the murder of a British businessman; Xilai's wife has been implicated.

Sme highlights a high-profile gathering of international leaders that starts in Bratislava, looking at how Slovakia's new prime minister, Robert Fico, might seek to present his government and its foreign policy.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that Britain's ageing population could result in a “pensions time bomb” that could cost as much as £750 billion (€910bn), the Daily Telegraph writes.

Le Figaro reports that the judges in the trial of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on prostitution charges are convinced that the former chief of the International Monetary Fund chief was not just a participant in the ring, but had an active role in organising it. 

Le Monde reports that the consumer price index in France rose 0.8% in March, after having already risen by 0.4% in February. Year on year, inflation now stands at 2.3%.

Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza gives prominence to a Russian report that suggests that the European Court of Human Rights believes that Russia holds no responsibility for the killing by the Soviet Union of Polish officers at Katyn during the Second World War.

Ukrainian authorities have blocked the release of a film about Soviet footballers who defied Nazi Germany amid fears it could ignite explosive emotions just weeks before the country co-hosts the Euro 2012 tournament, the UK's Independent writes.

Süddeutsche Zeitung reports on a decision from the European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruling that Germany's ban on incest is legal. It followed a complaint from a man from Leipzig who fathered four children with his sister and was sent to prison.

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