Greece’s Odyssey Continues

By Rowan Williams
  • – EU leaders meet for crucial bailout talks
  • – Police call handling review after Scotland death
  • – New brokerage rules following China stock tumult


Talks in Brussels between eurozone leaders are underway to secure a bailout deal for Greece, as the country edges closer to financial collapse. Wider talks between EU leaders scheduled for Sunday were cancelled to concentrate on securing a deal for Greece, which risks being ejected from the eurozone if talks fail to produce a deal. Talks have previously faltered over Greece’s resistance to austerity measures. Greece will be required to quickly implement reforms on VAT, taxes and labour regulations as part of a potential bailout deal. Greece remains hopeful that a deal can be reached on Sunday, though other European Ministers have expressed scepticism.

An urgent review of police call handling in Scotland has been ordered, following the death of a woman found in a crashed car three days after the crash was originally reported. Lamara Bell was found in a critically ill condition in a car on the M9 on Wednesday, alongside her dead partner John Yuill. The crash had been reported to police on Sunday 5 July but had not been entered into police systems. Ms Bell died on Sunday 12 July, with her death partly attributed to dehydration from being trapped in the wreckage for so long. The review, ordered by the Scottish government, will focus on all police call handling procedures.

Chinese stock brokerages will be forced to review trades and enforce rules requiring investors to use their real names and national identification numbers. The ruling from China’s securities regulator comes after a dramatic month that saw the Chinese stock market plunge by almost a third. Markets have since risen again following a wave of government intervention. The new rules are intended to clamp down on investors using multiple accounts to manipulate stock prices.

The Papers

Health and political stories make the Sunday headlines. The Independent on Sunday leads with a warning that global obesity and hunger problems are “linked”. According to one British academic, world food insecurity is rising at an “unprecedented rate”, “increasing malnutrition and chronic diseases”. The Sunday Telegraph leads with a warning that “Thousands of hospital operations are needless”, according to the medical director of NHS England. One in seven treatments are unnecessary and “waste billions of pounds”, the paper reports. The Sunday Times leads with news of a “reform ultimatum” for the BBC from the Conservative government. The government has told the broadcaster to “stop chasing viewers” with overtly commercial programmes such as The Voice. The Observer leads with a report that the “gulf between generations” has been growing since the Conservatives entered government in 2010. Under-30s have fallen back “sharply” in a ‘fairness index’, the paper reports.

British Media on China

On typhoon Chan-Hom: UK media turned to South-east China in recent days, as typhoon Chan-Hom approached Zhejiang province. The BBC reports that “Almost one million people have been evacuated from coastal areas” as Chan-Hom made landfall. The Daily Telegraph reports that ships were “ordered back to port” ahead of the storm. The Guardian reports that the typhoon “may be the most powerful to hit China since the communists took power in 1949”.

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