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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 June, 2003, 05:39 GMT 06:39 UK
Papers plough through euro statement
For the Treasury groupie, the column inches devoted to Monday's Commons statement will be a delight.

There are any number of handy pull-out supplements, with the Daily Telegraph boasting a 16 page guide.

The Independent's analysis runs to 12 pages - including opinions from a cast of celebrity chefs, novelists, sports commentators and actors.

The Guardian restricts itself to just eight pages - and offers readers of its G2 section a boiled down version of Gordon Brown's five economic tests in the form of a pub quiz.

Those who indulge in this challenge are asked to consider whether the Treasury's 18 volume background briefing contains enough paper to make fourteen full-size papier mache jumbo-jets.


The Parliamentary sketch writers can hardly contain their glee at the language in the documents, which were apparently read by the cabinet before they took their decision on the euro.

The Financial Times suggests that it had something of a zoological flavour, featuring the emu, an ostrich and three bears.

The Times says the briefing papers were as dense as tropical undergrowth, bursting with brain-defying jargon and gobbledegook.

More Whitehall farce than sensible advice to an anxious electorate, it concludes.

Brown's 'failure'

As expected, the papers could see little new in the Chancellor's statement.

The FT can hardly contain its frustration at his failure to reach a conclusive decision on the single currency.

The paper complains that six years of work by Treasury staff, resulting in one-and-a-half-million words in reports and supporting studies, has been wasted.

And it accuses the prime minister of squandering a historic opportunity by allowing the Chancellor to veto membership.

However, the Daily Mail delights in what it sees as Mr Brown's triumph, declaring that the "Pound is Quids In".

It provides its readers with a list of little known facts about sterling, concluding with the nugget that the single currency is, quite literally, bad for your health.

The paper reveals that researchers in Zurich have found that euro coins can trigger skin allergies because of their high nickel content.


The tabloids are able to relegate the euro debate to the inside pages, leading instead on the news of Soham murder suspect Ian Huntley's admission to hospital.

The Daily Express claims that he is fighting for his life and able to breathe only with the aid of a life-support machine.

But the Sun insists that although he is in a coma, he is expected to recover.

The Mirror demands to know how such a thing could have happened. It examines in detail the conditions at Woodhill prison.

Octopus suckers

The Times reports that hundreds of thousands of people suffering from asthma queued for hours in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Monday to receive a rather unusual cure.

Patients apparently travel from all over the country to swallow a live fish smeared with a special yellow paste.

The news prompts other tales about the world's appetite for live fish.

The newspaper says that in South Korea live octopus is all the rage - if prepared properly.

The suckers should momentarily stick to the inside of the mouth before losing pressure.

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