News Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, sits next to Dutch leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert Wilders, at The Hague

The move by Geert Wilders of the Dutch Freedom Party and Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front, came ahead of next year's elections which EU officials fear will bring a surge in support for nationalist and xenophobic parties

EC poised to extend shoe duties after German U-turn

British shoe retailers say proposed tariffs would be a 'backward step' for industry

PM: downturn over by Christmas

Gordon Brown yesterday staked his political reputation on a swift recovery from Britain's longest-ever recession, with a pledge that the downturn would be over by Christmas.

Harrington criticised by Bjorn

Thomas Bjorn has reacted angrily after Padraig Harrington questioned plans for a possible tightening up of membership rules on the European Tour.

Bruce Anderson: Europe must be a priority for the Tories

At some stage, there must be a full-scale renegotiation of our relations with the EU

Business Diary: An honour just to be working there

Fine words from City minister Lord Myners to an audience of bankers, offering them a reality check on pay and bonuses by suggesting they think about the fact that the minimum wage is just £5.73-an-hour. Lord Myners sets an example by drawing no ministerial salary at all... no doubt a £100,000-a-year pension from fund manager Gartmore, once owned by RBS, cushions the blow.

Stephen King: Obama must resist the siren call of protectionism ahead of the G20

Outlook: Japan is no longer at the centre of American paranoia. That role has been foisted upon China

Mark Dampier: Time for Eurosceptics to think again

The Analyst

Emma Kenny: The skills gap in the Wii-generation

Think back to your childhood, how often can you remember spending hours sitting inside watching TV, unable to venture outside to play freely? Hopefully not many of you.

Give us more clout at IMF, say BRIC nations

The first formal summit of the four emerging "BRIC" powers concluded in Russia yesterday with calls for reform of international economic institutions and a curb on protectionism.

Hamish McRae: The downturn will go on, but this should restore confidence

See the summit as a bandage over a wound that will take time to heal itself

Leading article: Poor countries have interests, too

G20: Aid and exclusion

Sean O'Grady: Forget the protesters: someone separate the leaders

On the basis of the text of the G20 summit communiqué, leaked comprehensively yesterday, it seems pretty clear that the event will be a flop. But could Thursday's G20 Summit do more harm than good?

The world comes to London

Jeremy Warner: Despite Brown's best efforts, G20 can only disappoint

Outlook Hopes of winning agreement at next week's summit of the G20 for a co-ordinated fiscal stimulus have turned to dust before the meeting could even begin. France and Germany were never in favour of it in the first place, preferring instead to preach the virtues of fiscal discipline and insisting that time must be given first to seeing whether current fiscal stimuli were working before considering even more. Now even our own Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, one of the keenest proponents of global action to deal with the recession, has been forced to concede that he's already so over-borrowed he cannot spend or cut taxes any further. As if Tuesday's warning from the Governor of the Bank of England wasn't salutary enough, the markets sent their own message the following day by shunning an issue of long-dated gilts. There are limits to how much the UK Government will be allowed to borrow.

Countdown to G20: Trade offenders named and shamed while nations fall out over fiscal boost

So far from the international commitment to a coordinated fiscal boost he once dreamed of, the Prime Minister now seems content to accept a mere stock-taking exercise at the G20 summit next week: "Nobody is suggesting that people come to the G20 meeting and put on the table the budget they're going to have for the next year. What we are suggesting is that we have to look at what we have done so far... I see consensus, not a disagreement on that."

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