Morning in brief: Merkel stands by austerity measures

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has hit back against comments by Francois Hollande and said austerity is the only path to recovery.

Meanwhile, the UK could discover it is back in recession this morning and Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News International, could find himself under renewed pressure to resign from his role.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reaffirmed her commitment to the austerity measures following yesterday’s comments by French presidential candidate Francois Hollande, writes Bloomberg.

Hollande has cited the eurozone’s austerity measures as contributing to the National Front taking its largest share of the popular vote in French history over the weekend. Merkel has responded by claiming the measures are the most effective means of addressing the debt crisis.

European Commission members will propose increasing the EU’s budget by 6.8% for 2013, according to the BBC. The UK government will be among those who oppose any such increase.


The UK will today discover whether or not it has re-entered recession as the quarterly GDP figures are released.

The BBC has spoken to David Miles from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee who says a negative growth figure for the first quarter would not be surprising.


Tech giant Apple has delivered its quarterly results, beating Wall Street estimates, reports Reuters. Stronger than anticipated demand for the iPhone accounts for almost half of the firm’s $7.9 billion (£4.8 billion) revenue stream.

The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), together with the Christian Brothers Investment Services are calling for Rupert Murdoch to be replaced as chairman of News International. The Telegraph reports that the two groups intend to act on their concerns following revelations made over News International’s relationship with the Cabinet at the Leveson inquiry yesterday.