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In the papers today - Wednesday 2 January 2008

Britain this year faces the most difficult economic conditions since the dotcom bubble burst, according to the Financial Times' annual survey of leading economists...

...It shows depressing pessimism about the impact of the global credit squeeze – Financial Times

Ferrovial, the Spanish infrastructure group, has said that BAA is not in crisis, but it was looking to refinance the debt it secured to buy the airport operator. "There is absolutely no risk in servicing this [acquisition] debt. The assets behind BAA could not be more secure," said chief executive Joaquin Ayuso – Financial Times

Bad debts from loans to non listed commercial and residential developers could increase as much as 50% this year as property markets continue to struggle, according to property consultants EC Harris – Financial Times

Cash incentives for skills training will be offered to unemployed people under a 'reformed new deal' in an attempt to change the focus of the welfare state, Gordon Brown will signal today – Financial Times

One of the first large cargo ships in 100 years to cross the Atlantic with the help of the wind will set off from European shores this month on a voyage which is due to make maritime history. When the 10,000-tonne Beluga Skysail is well clear of land, it will launch a giant kite, which wind tunnel tests and sea trials suggest will tug it along and save 10-15% of the heavy fuel oil it would normally burn - Guardian

Residents of the tiny Island of Eigg are counting down the days until they get mains electricity for the first time. The new environmentally friendly power source nicknamed "Eiggtricity" will come from a £1.5M solar, wind and hydro-generating station that has been built on the island - Independent

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