Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, December 31, 2001

Bush must compromise on economy, Daschle says

WASHINGTON >> President Bush must compromise more next year if he wants to get an economic stimulus bill through Congress, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said yesterday.

He complained that during December negotiations "we didn't see a lot of give on the part of the administration" until it was too late.

Daschle, D-S.D., also said he was mischaracterized by Republicans as the villain in the failure to pass an economic plan before Congress left town for the holidays.

In the past month, Daschle has been called an "obstructionist" by Vice President Dick Cheney and labeled a "bad faith" negotiator by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

"It really takes give on both sides," Daschle said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We didn't see a lot of give on the part of the administration or engagement on the part of the administration until the very end."

States ask judge to reject Microsoft's delay bid

Washington >> Nine states seeking stricter antitrust penalties against Microsoft Corp. asked a federal judge to reject the biggest software maker's proposal to delay hearings in the case until the summer.

The states said today in court papers that a new remedies phase of the 312-year-old case should be held in March as U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ordered. The company proposed delaying it until July or August.

"That Microsoft stands to benefit from delay is obvious," the state attorneys general said in the court papers. "It is equally obvious that the consumers and competitors who have been and are being harmed by Microsoft's monopolistic conduct stand to suffer further from the passage of additional time."

China reports economy rose 7.3% over year 2000

BEIJING >> China's economy grew 7.3 percent in 2001 from the previous year, attaining Beijing's 7 percent growth target, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday in a report carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

But the growth, tallied on gross domestic product, or the total value of goods and services produced domestically, is smaller than the 8 percent attained in 2000.

The NBS said China's GDP is estimated at 9.58 trillion yuan, or about $1.19 trillion, in 2001.

Xinhua quoted Zhu Zhixin, director of the NBS, as saying China's economy maintained healthy and sustainable growth in 2001 because strong domestic demand more than offset slower export growth as a result of the global economic slump.

Official predicts new clout for Europe from currency

BRUSSELS, Belgium >> The euro currency debuting this week will give the European Union a greater voice in influencing the globalizing world economy, a top EU official said yesterday.

"The single European economies, if they are left alone, they will disappear," Romano Prodi, president of the EU's executive Commission, said in an interview with Associated Press Television News. "If united, we shall have a say in the contemporary world."

The single currency, which debuts in notes and coins tomorrow in 12 EU countries, represents a "new identity" for Europeans, Prodi said.

But despite the closer integration that the euro represents, Prodi said he did not believe the EU was en route to becoming a "United States of Europe."

"Our union is completely different," he said, describing the 15 states that comprise the EU as a "union of minorities that will never have a dominant central core."

Britain, Sweden and Denmark are staying out of the single currency for now.

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