World Bulletin / News Desk
Britain must find more spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday, after a return recession this year raised speculation the government was set to miss its own deficit reduction targets.
Cameron, in an interview with the BBC, also said he would use Britain's veto to scupper European Union budget talks if necessary, warning the 27-nation bloc it needed to learn to live within its means.
The prime minister said his Conservative-led coalition government was determined to stick to its plan to erase what was a record budget deficit when he came to power in 2010.
Asked if Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was correct to say that whoever won the 2015 election would have to introduce another tranche of austerity because of the size of the problem, Cameron said:
"Yes, he is right and actually it happens before that because we have to find 16 billion pounds of spending reductions for the year 2015-16. It starts before the general election and we need to do that," Cameron said.
"I want us to be the party that absolutely levels with the British public and talks very plainly and straightly about what needs to be done because the fact is we have to find those spending reductions."
The government delivers new economic and borrowing forecasts on Dec. 5. Finance minister George Osborne said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday that Britain faced further cuts after a weaker than expected performance by the economy this year.
Cameron said Britain had cuts its deficit by a quarter in two years but it was too early to say what the figures for 2012 would be. Asked whether Britain would have to reduce welfare spending, he said: "We have to look at things like the welfare budget... We have capped welfare but we need to go further."
Cameron suggested the EU should at some point split its budget into two - one for the euro zone and one for the countries outside the single currency, including Britain.
Cameron, much to the delight of a powerful anti-EU wing of his Conservative Party, used the veto last year to keep Britain out of a European fiscal and economic pact aimed at resolving the euro zone debt crisis.
"People in Europe know I mean what I say. I sat round that table, 27 countries, 26 of them signing up to a treaty, and I said this is not in Britain's interest, I don't care how much pressure you put on, I'm not signing, we are not having it. They know what I am capable of saying, no, and If I don't get a good deal I'll say no again.
OPEC's influence is waning as it fails to cut production Thursday amid falling oil prices, while divisions between its member states deepen, experts say.
A controversy surfaced recently after the Public Account Committee (PAC) released a report accusing senior government officials of having fraudulently authorized payment of at least $122 million of public funds to a private company
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez left the meeting visibly angry and declined to comment on the outcome.
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The WTO has lurched from one disappointment to another over the past decade as it tries to find a balanced trade deal that all its members, now numbering 160, could support.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he expected the oil market "to stabilise itself eventually" but did not comment on talks with Russia held on Tuesday
Ergun Olgun, the Turkish Cypriot negotiator, said their own exploration would continue and even accelerate if Greek Cypriots pressed ahead with their plans to allow multinationals to exploit the area.
The decision to devalue the naira, according to analysts and central bank figures, appears aimed at saving the country's dwindling foreign reserves
Oil market watchers are divided on the outcome of OPEC's meeting in the Austrian capital. Predictions range from a large production cut to revive prices, to a small reduction, or none at all
The proliferation of smugglers' routes into Bolivia shows how difficult it is to eradicate illegal mining without better coordination across frontiers.
Falling crude prices are fueled by slowing global growth and increased supply.
Ukraine's leading banks said most of their loans to Crimean individuals and businesses were now delinquent.
Deputy Energy Minister Jaime Himende said that "Mozambique has great hydroelectricity potential, and recently they have taken some bold steps to use renewable resources efficiently"
Obama, who hosted Modi in Washington in September, will in January become the first U.S. president to visit India twice, completing a remarkable warming in the relationship
The combined damage inflicted on Russia's economy by Western sanctions and falling oil prices totals about $140 billion.
PM Mahlab said that Egypt eyes sustainable growth to improve the living conditions of Egyptians, noting that the Egyptian economy is currently recovering.