15th April 2008
Berlusconi Back in Power
Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition secured victory in the Italian General Election, defeating Walter Veltroni's centre-left Democratic Party. The media tycoon returns for a third term. It is the 62nd Italian Government in the 63 years since the end of the Second World War.
14th April 2008
Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero Forms Government
Re-elected Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has announced his government containing a cabinet of nine women and eight men. Zapatero's Socialist Workers' Party fell seven seats short of an absolute majority required in the March poll.
10th April 2008
Greens Launch Manifesto for London
The Greens have launched their manifesto for the London elections. With Sian Berry running for London Mayor, the party intends to create a greener and more affordable London and alter the mindset about car use. Highlights include: a £7.20 per hour minimum wage for London; setting a 20mph limit in the majority of the city; introducing a 20p cut in bus and off-peak Tube fares; and providing free home insulation.
9th April 2008
Cowen Publicly Unveiled as Ahern Successor
Brian Cowen publicly has been unveiled as Fianna Fail's party leader designate outside the Irish Parliament in Dublin. Nominations closed on 5th April, and he had been put forward for the post by Justice Minister Brian Lenihan supported by Mary Coughlan, the Agriculture Minister. Cowen said today "I am proud of the Fianna Fail party, we'll continue to build the republic and we'll strive to build a country strong and free with decent living standards for all."
9th April 2008
Mortgage Finance Working Group Launched by Chancellor
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the creation of the Mortgage Finance Working Group, set up to provide advice to the Government on options for improving the functioning of mortgage finance markets. To be chaired by Sir James Crosby, the group will be comprised of mortgage industry experts and will draw upon the experience and expertise from the whole of the sector: lenders, investors, the Treasury, Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority. Alistair Darling said "The recent and ongoing disruption in global financial markets has raised complex issues about the functioning of the mortgage-backed securities markets. I am delighted to announce that Sir James will chair the industry Working Group that will consider market-led initiatives to improve these markets. This work will be an important contribution to stabilising the cost and supply of UK mortgages".
8th April 2008
Brown & Labour Take Another Poll Bashing
A Populus survey for The Times showed Gordon Brown’s personal leadership rating having fallen to its lowest ever level, with even 31% of voters believing he is a worse leader than Tony Blair. The Poll revealed that the Conservatives have risen two points in the last month, now up to 39% whilst the Labour Party fell one point to 33%. The LibDems were down two points at 17%.
4th April 2008
Progressive governance conference 2008: watch world leaders debate live today
Progressive governance conference 2008: watch world leaders debate "an inclusive globalisation" live on the Policy Network website today. Over 300 international leaders, policymakers, government advisers and experts have come together to debate the theme of "an inclusive globalisation: promoting prosperity for all" at the Progressive Governance conference in London. The main plenaries of the event are being video-streamed live on the Policy Network website.
4th April 2008
Bertie Ahern to Step Down as Irish Prime Minister
Bertie Ahern has been leader of the Fianna Fáil party since 1994 and Prime Minister (Taoiseach) since 1997, winning 3 consecutive General Elections. His announcement came on Wednesday that he would resign from his post on 6 May. A tribunal is probing his personal finances and has placed the Taoiseach under mounting pressure. He said "I have never received a corrupt payment and I've never done anything to dishonour any office that I've ever held". Finance Minister, Brian Cowen, is being hotly tipped to take over as Taoiseach.
3rd April 2008
European Commission Investigates Northern Rock Aid
The European Commission has launched an in-depth probe into the UK Government's rescue of Northern Rock. Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said "The Commission needs to open a formal investigation into UK measures to restructure Northern Rock to ensure legal certainty, notably in view of the large scale of the aid measures, the background of current conditions in financial markets and the risks of distortion of competition. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the UK authorities and other parties during our investigation."
3rd April 2008
Boris to Ban Booze from London Tube
The Conservative Party Candidate for Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has said if he wins the May election that he'll ban the consumption of alcohol on the Tube. Commenting, Boris Johnson said: "London has a higher rate of alcohol-related crimes than any other region in England and I have been told time and again that people are scared of taking the Underground late at night because of aggressive behaviour by drunken yobs. Too many people find themselves forced to sit opposite someone swigging from a can of lager and engaging in behaviour that is intimidating or worse. I want everyone's journeys to be safer and more pleasant". Read all about it.