- - Sunday, December 12, 2010

BRITAIN

Officials: Students made ‘contact’ with royals

LONDON | Student protesters made physical contact with the wife of Prince Charles during an attack on the couple’s car that has sparked a review of royal security, a British government minister said Sunday.

Home Secretary Theresa May told Sky News that “there was contact made,” although she would not confirm reports Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, had been poked with a stick through an open car window.

The prince’s office also declined to comment, but stressed that the royal couple did not seek medical help after Thursday’s altercation.

Officials are assessing royal security after the attack on Charles and Camilla, whose Rolls-Royce strayed into the path of protesters against tuition-fee increases. They hit the car with sticks, fists and bottles and chanted “off with their heads” before the vehicle pushed its way through the crowd and drove off.

Police have launched a “major criminal investigation” into the demonstrations, which saw protesters scuffle with riot police, smash windows and daub government buildings with graffiti.

GREECE

Economist: Greeks must accelerate reforms

ATHENS | The European Central Bank’s chief economist said on Sunday that Greece needed to press on with difficult structural reforms if it is to overcome the debt crisis plaguing the nation.

“The program remains broadly on track. … But Greece needs to continue structural reforms to lay a sound basis for growth and job creation,” Juergen Stark said in an interview with Greek daily To Vima.

“It is not a 100-meter sprint, it is a marathon, and Greece has just started with this process.”

Greece has committed itself to drastic reforms and cutbacks in its overblown state sector in return for a $148 billion European Union-International Monetary Fund loan that saved it from bankruptcy this year.

In late November, Athens won approval for a new slice of rescue funding but the IMF and EU prescribed even tougher action on tax evasion, waste in health care and on state companies to merit another payout.

KOSOVO

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