COMMENT : Tunnel-builder tries to hold back the tide
Tuesday 13 February 1996
On the latter count, both are eminently qualified. Robert Badinter, a former French minister of justice, is a highly respected figure in French life while Lord Wakeham as chairman of the Press Complaints Commission has single-handedly proven that even the most toothless of watchdogs can sometimes be made to bark loud enough to deter. If anyone is going to persuade bankers to roll over and let Eurotunnel tickle their tummies, it will be Lord Wakeham.
That is the measure of the task, however. Bankers do not actually have to yield an inch, even under French insolvency law where other "stakeholders" such as employees and shareholders are meant to gain better protection than in Britain's more purist system. Theoretically, the French courts could back a restructuring which required bankers to yield security in favour of shareholders. But even if they did, it seems unlikely that the British courts, to which Eurotunnel is equally responsible, would go along with something that so directly challenged basic principles of creditor security.
Eurotunnel has three goals. It wants shareholders to retain a majority stake in the venture; it wants to stop the process under which banks indefinitely have first call on any available cash flow; and it wants banks to accept debt write-off and cuts in interest rates. In truth, Eurotunnel would have more luck with the tooth fairy than achieving these aims. Shareholders can only hope that Lord Wakeham can achieve some give in the apparently unassailable position occupied by bankers.
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 3 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 4 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
- 5 Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: Dublin in party mood ahead of historic poll result
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...