Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Top of Agenda

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Top of Agenda

Article excerpt

Europe's small businesses are at the top of the political agenda and at the centre of EU policy-making, the European Commission promised yesterday.

Enterprise Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said that nothing less than a 25% cut in red tape was required to free up entrepreneurs to deliver the economic results the EU needed.

"At a time of great economic challenges the Commission is putting the needs of small business at the heart of everything we do " Mr Verheugen told a conference of SMEs in Brussels.

The Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the new focus on SMEs, but urged action to back up the Commission's promises.

Out of bidding

THE troubled owner of train company GNER has pulled out of the race for a new rail franchise after admitting its resources were needed elsewhere.

Sea Containers said it had "reluctantly" decided to withdraw from a joint bid with Hong Kong-based MTR for the new South Western rail franchise.

The move came as the company began legal action over the Office of Rail Regulation's decision to give train company Grand Central access rights to operate passenger services in direct competition with GNER on the East Coast line. …

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