A round-up for journalists of the big diary stories coming up in the week ahead provided for Press Gazette readers by Foresight News.
Days after saying ‘No, no, no’ to Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and co. at the European Council summit in Brussels, Prime Minister David Cameron makes a triumphant return to the House of Commons to make his regular post-meeting statement to MPs on Monday. With Sarkozy accusing Cameron of having made ‘unacceptable demands‘, Cameron will have some defending of his own position to do.
On Monday The Financial Services Authority is expected to publish its long-awaited report into regulation and management at the Royal Bank of Scotland ahead of its taxpayer-funded bailout in 2009. The report, originally due to be published by March, is expected to be accompanied by an independent review, commissioned by the Treasury Select Committee, by City veterans David Walker and Bill Knight.
The inaugural London Policy Conference opens in the capital on Monday, with organisers Demos and the Institute for Public Policy Research hoping to establish the conference as a ‘Davos for London’. There’s a strong line-up of speakers at the two-day event, with Mayors past and present Ken and Boris and new Met Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe in attendance.
Daily Mail and General Trust chairman Viscount Rothermere makes a rare public appearance at a Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions hearing in Portcullis House on Monday. The Viscount is in illustrious company alongside The Time editor James Harding and the Mail on Sunday editor Peter Wright.
Two key statistical releases are published Tuesday, with the annual Living Costs and Food Survey coinciding with November’s inflation figures, which showed a 0.2% fall to 5%in October. The Living Costs survey, measuring household expenditure on goods and services, feeds into calculations for the Retail Price Index and National Accounts statistics.
On Tuesday The Italian Parliament is scheduled to begin debating austerity measures announced by Prime Minister Mario Monti on December 4. Proposals include additional asset taxes on the wealthy, an increase in pension ages and greater efforts to tackle tax evasion. Monti will be doing his bit too; the former European Commissioner promised to forego a salary.
Sticking with the austerity theme, French unions follow in their British cousins’ footsteps with a day of ‘mobilisations’ and protests on Tuesday. France’s five largest unions called for the protests last month as part of a nationwide anti-austerity drive which is intended to ‘challenge the government, elected officials and business leaders’ for the first half of the month.
On Wednesday Thomas Cook Group is due to publish the 2010 full-year results which it delayed last month after a share price collapse triggered by the announcement that the travel operator was renegotiating its bank debt. The results of the group’s UK business review are also published today.
The equally embattled Olympus Corporation has until Wednesday to file its half year earnings or face delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Japanese company is in hot water after the emergence of the historical cover-up of massive losses and the ousting of chief executive Michael Woodford after he challenged accounting practices.
In Belfast on Wednesday the men charged with the murder of Constable Stephen Carroll go on trial after several delays. Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are accused of shooting dead the Catholic policeman in Craigavon in 2009.
Today is the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen and his four-man team reaching the South Pole; to celebrate the occasion, eight teams begin competing in the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race tomorrow, with the winner expected to reach the pole by February next year.
Dmitry Medvedev takes part in the 28th EU-Russia Summit in Brussels on Thursday, alongside the continent’s busiest technocrats Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manual Barroso. The summit comes in the wake of widespread criticism of parliamentary elections in Russia on December 4, which sparked protests and the arrest of opposition leaders including Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Mitrokin. An ‘anti-Kremlin’ protest in scheduled in Moscow on Saturday.
Today’s a big day for Greece – today is the deadline for an â‚¬8bn loan disbursement without which the Government will be unable to pay salaries and make bond repayments.
And the UK’s favourite protest movement, Occupy, is calling for Thursday to be a ‘national day of action’ which the group has dubbed ‘Occupy Everywhere’.
On Friday The notoriously panda-mad Scots get their first opportunity to meet Tian Tian and Yang Guang when the pair go on public display for the first time since arriving in the country last week. The giant pandas, on loan from the Chinese government, are the first to live in the UK since 1994.
Staying in Scotland, the Labour Party is due to announce Iain Gray’s replacement on Saturday, with Tom Harris, Johann Lamont and Ken Mackintosh in the running to become the new leader of Scottish Labour. Gray announced his intention to stand down after the party was roundly defeated in Scottish elections in May.
Saturday also marks one year since the self-immolation of Tunisian fruit seller Mohamed Bouazizi in what became one of the key events in the country’s Jasmine Revolution and the genesis of the Arab Spring.