Berlusconi fights for jet deal
Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, has written to UK counterpart Gordon Brown to demand support for a $10bn (£6.8bn) deal to build Eurofighter combat jets.
Defence sources said that Mr Berlusconi sent the letter on Friday, after the Treasury declined to go ahead with a £1bn payment for 16 jets. The order was part of a four-nation deal, between Germany, Spain, the UK and Italy.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, called Mr Brown to lobby for his support last week. It is understood that she intends to telephone him again in the next few days, while Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero was planning to contact Mr Brown this weekend.
Despite budget cuts, manufacturers from all four countries were hoping to sign a contract soon with the four nations. However, the UK has argued that it does not have room in its defence budget to fund the deal at this time.
The manufacturers are the UK's BAE Systems, Italy's Finnemeccanica and EADS of Spain and Germany.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
iJobs Money & Business
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...