Scottish news bulletin: 17th February 20097

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

Economy

Lloyds Banking Group/HBOS: Sir Peter Burt, the last chief executive of Bank of Scotland, has blamed “greed” for the over-expansion of the bank (Herald page 1). Analysts warned that Lloyds Banking Group could lose an additional £16bn. Moody’s Investor Services has removed its triple A credit rating from the bank (Scotsman page 6, FT page 1).

BMW: BMW’s announcement at short notice that it would be cutting 850 jobs at its Mini factory in Cowley has provoked an angry reaction from workers (Scotsman page 10, Times page 6).

Recession: The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England warned yesterday that there was a “roughly three in four chance” that the economy could shrink by more than 4% in 2009 (Times page 1, Herald page 29, Telegraph page 4).

Education

University applications: The number of applications to Scottish universities has increased by 5.1%, including a 12.5% rise in applications from those over 25 (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 10).

Politics

Anti-terror strategy: Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has criticised the UK Government for using people’s fears about terrorism to restrict civil liberties (Scotsman page 6, Telegraph page 1).

Nuclear power: The Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy, said yesterday that the SNP had no good reason for opposing nuclear power in Scotland. He claimed that this would lead to Scotland missing out on billions of pounds of investment and thousands of jobs. The First Minister reportedly said that nuclear power was a “busted flush” (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 8, P&J page 1).

Alex Salmond MP: The Scottish Conservatives have accused Alex Salmond of having one of the worst attendance and speaking records of the 59 Scottish MPs and have called on him to give up his Westminster seat (Herald page 8, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 10, Courier page 6, Mail page 4).

Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.

www.reformscotland.com

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