THE EUROPEAN Commission has launched a formal action against Britain, saying Gordon Brown's failure to keep a prudent grip on public finances has left the country in breach of the Growth and Stability Pact.
The Daily Telegraph reports Brussels yesterday ordered the UK to reduce public borrowing below 3% of GDP in 2004 after its finances "deteriorated markedly" over the past two years.
That said, the country is still forecast to grow almost twice as fast as the eurozone economy.
The EC says the increased borrowing stems from costs incurred in the Iraq war and a slippage in tax revenue.
While Britain may be faced with the same spending rules as eurozone members under the Maastricht Treaty, it cannot be fined for breaching the 3% limit until it signs up to the single currency.
STAYING IN Europe, raging Eurotunnel shareholders yesterday ousted the company's board at a stormy annual general meeting near Paris, sparking claims they would hand control of the Channel Tunnel operator to creditor banks, writes The Scotsman.
A large number of angry shareholders, led by failed French presidential candidate Nicolas Miguet, voted not to renew the board seats of current Eurotunnel chairman Charles Mackay and chief executive Richard Shirrefs.
Furthermore, they also gave all the 14 resolutions put to the agm the thumbs down, including approval of the company’s accounts.
BACK IN the UK, the insurance market Lloyd's of London reported profits jumped 127% in 2003, boosted by improved trading conditions and successful restructuring, says The Times.
The year stands in stark contrast to the £2.37bn loss the company made in 2001.IFAonline
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