World Bulletin / News Desk
Greek leftist Alexis Tsipras pledged on Friday to roll back wage and pension cuts, nationalise banks and freeze privatisations if he wins this month's election.
The firebrand leader, ahead in the latest opinion poll, is keeping up radical rhetoric that has horrified the country's lenders but is winning him support before the June 17 vote that is widely seen as a referendum on the country's future in the euro zone.
In an hour-long speech to outline his economic platform for the election, Tsipras showered supporters with a barrage of promises from saving indebted households and cutting taxes on bread and milk to further hiking taxes on the rich.
"The adjustment we are proposing will come from taxing the wealthy and those with high incomes," the 37-year-old said to a crowd chanting "It's time for the left!"
A vehement opponent of Greece's international bailout, which is conditional on deep spending cuts, Tsipras pledged to cancel the 130 billion euro ($161 billion) programme.
Greece relies on the money from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to avoid bankruptcy, and increasingly alarmed policymakers have warned Greeks that they face a painful return to the drachma currency if they abandon the programme and the austerity measures tied to it.
The Greek banking sector that Tsipras wants to nationalise is close to collapse, battered by recession and its exposure to Greek sovereign debt whose value has been slashed. Tsipras said he wanted to nationalise banks that had been recently recapitalised.
But opinion polls show that his populist proposals have brought him wide support among voters grappling with record unemployment and sharply lower living standards following a series of wage, pension and spending cuts.
Most polls show Tsipras's SYRIZA party running neck and neck with or slightly behind the pro-bailout New Democracy conservatives, though the respected Public Issue poll for the conservative Kathimerini paper on Friday gave SYRIZA a six point lead.
Most pollsters say the election outcome is too close to call, with a volatile mood among angry voters complicating predictions. This month's vote was called after an inconclusive election last month left no party able to form a government.
Greece is in its fifth year of a recession that has left one out of five people out of work. With tax revenues plunging in a shrinking economy, officials have warned the country could run out of money this month without a fresh injection of aid.
The head of Greece's biggest utility PPC told Reuters the country could suffer from power cuts later this year unless its lenders allow an emergency cash injection into power producers to let them buy fuel.
The latest economic data released on Friday showed the country's manufacturing sector shrank again in May but at a slower pace compared to the previous month, although declining production and orders forced firms to cut more jobs.
GM plans to build five more plants in China next year, as part of its efforts to ramp up manufacturing capacity there by 65 percent by 2020
Production from conflict-free mines are bagged and tagged with a barcode to make it easily traceable.
"We will further expand our capacities to be able to respond to the high market growth," Jochem Heizmann, head of VW's China operations told reporters on Saturday ahead of the Beijing auto show.
The State Duma lower house on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012.
Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, is likely to be liquidated after a Tokyo court dismissed the company's bid to resuscitate its business.
Discussions will continue in the days and weeks ahead, but there is no particular deadline for concluding the talks, the official added.
Russia's oil output stands at over 10 million barrels per day, the world's largest, but it needs new sources of crude oil, including hard-to-recover deposits and the Arctic, to sustain this level
The strike at Yue Yuen is not just one of China's biggest in recent years, it's also more clearly driven by workers' fears that they have been scammed by an opaque and convoluted welfare payment system.
When the system is in place citizens will be able to buy a limited amount of subsidised fuel, and will have to pay a normal, market price for any extra quantities.
Production in Upper Nile state's Paloch oilfields, where output has not been hampered by the conflict, stood at 159,000 barrels per day this week.
Dragomir Stoynev accused fellow European Union members of a politically-motivated attempt to scupper the project, and urged the bloc to understand the effect that doing so would have on its members.
The drops have come mainly because Japan did not take any cargoes in March and South Korea is not scheduled to take any shipments in April, according to the tanker data.
Japan's finance ministry and central bank have declined to comment on the payments.
But a survey shows that most people believe inflation is speeding up and could surpass 37 percent this year.
A fifth payment of $450 million was due on April 15, contingent on Iran having diluted half of its most sensitive stockpile of nuclear materials
The year-on-year inflation rate in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5 percent in March against 0.7 percent in February, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said.