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Entries for December 2008

US government has said it will provide £11.6bn in loans to help troubled carmakers General Motors and Chrysler to survive.

“These are not ordinary circumstances,” Mr. Bush said. “In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action.” The government will use part of the $700bn originally pledged to rescue US banks. It has set a deadline of 31 March for the firms to become viable.

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Central Banks Across Europe Cut Key Rates

The European Central Bank, meeting in Brussels, cut its so-called rate by 75 basis points — to 2.50 percent from 3.25 percent — to help restart economic growth and to ease the financing problems of banks. England reduced the key rate by 1 percentage point — to 2 percent from 3 percent.

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Other News

London Transport and Virgin Media have named first 80 busiest and major underground stations in London which are all set to receive Wi-Fi services for the Olympics season. Destinations including London Bridge, Oxford Circus, Leicester Square, Mile End, Tower Hill, Tufnell Park, Goodge Street, King’s Cross, Oval, Borough and Victoria are on the list to turn into accessible Wi-Fi hotspots.

The UK economy shrank for the last three months of 2011 - BCC predicts that growth will be flat this year , with one quarter of contraction, but says a full-blown recession is not inevitable if the government acts. It showed that in October, the service sector contracted by (a revised) 0.6%, while in November it grew by 0.6%.

Peacocks chief executive expected to lodge rescue offer for stricken fashion chain, while Past Times is closing 46 stores with the loss of 574 jobs. Peacock employs more than 400 at its Cardiff HQ and nearly 10,000 more across the UK.

Halifax index also shows a 0.9% decline in December 2011 and predicts a broadly stable 2012 … providing the UK can avoid the recession. The price of the average house in the UK is now just over £160,000, said the bank, thanks to a 0.9% fall in prices in December 2011 and a 1.3% drop over the whole of the year.

Europe’s worst financial crisis in generations is forging a new European Union, pushing Britain to the sidelines and creating a more integrated, fiscally disciplined core of nations under the auspices of a resurgent Germany.