herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Greeks face tough squeeze

Greek prime minister George Papandreou will continue with policies aimed at drastically cutting the country's debt because he says a default would be a catastrophe.

"We have taken a decision, that no Greeks should live through the consequences of a default and to change the country radically so that it is no longer under anyone's supervision and can stand on its own feet," Mr Papandreou said.

Last Friday, the government unveiled an austerity programme running through 2015, aiming to save around ¤28bn. The measures will slap a host of new taxes on Greeks -- in spite of previous pledges to avoid more blanket tax increases.



New protests hit Morocco

Thousands of Moroccans marched through Casablanca yesterday calling for greater democracy and an end to corruption -- even as the king prepares to unveil new constitutional reforms.

The march showed the continuing viability of the February 20 pro-democracy movement, even as the king's own constitutional reform process seeks to co-opt many of their demands.

Activists are not calling for the king's resignation, just a limiting of his powers and changing the country into a constitutional monarchy.



Obama wages war on waste

US President Barack Obama will announce new steps to reduce government waste, arguing that inefficiency, fraud and abuse are especially troubling during tough economic times.

Mr Obama will sign an executive order today creating the Campaign to Cut Government Waste.

The order calls for the formation of an oversight board that will work with federal agencies to improve their performance and reduce waste, fraud and abuse.



Taiwan greets China tourists

Taiwan is to allow individual Chinese tourists from June 28 for the first time in more than six decades.

Residents from Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen will be allowed to visit and the number of direct passenger flights will rise more than 50pc to 558 per week. Taiwan permitted Chinese to visit as part of organised tour groups from July 2008 for the first time since the two split after a civil war ended in 1949.

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