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Five political groups have written to Martin Schulz, the Parliament‘s president, asking him to request advice from the Parliament‘s legal service as to whether the European Alliance for Freedom and the European Alliance of National Movements are in compliance with the Union‘s founding principles, as outlined in the Parliament‘s rules of procedure. Rule 210 defines these as “the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law”. Opponents maintain that the two alliances – which include far-right parties such as the British National Party, France‘s Front National and Hungary‘s Jobbik – are xenophobic and hence should no longer receive grants from the Parliament‘s fund for European parties. (EUROPEANVOICE.COM)

In the third quarter of 2012, the gross investment rate of non-financial corporations was 19.6% in the EU27, compared with 19.9% in the second quarter of 2012. In the euro area, the investment rate was 19.9%, compared with 20.2% in the previous quarter. Investment decreased (-0.7%) while gross value added increased (+0.4%). Total stocks (materials, supplies and finished goods) fell for the fourth quarter in a row. In the EU27, the gross profit share of non-financial corporations was 37.6% in the third quarter of 2012, compared with 37.7% in the second quarter of 2012.

In the third quarter of 2012, the gross saving rate of households in the EU27 was 11.2%, compared with 11.1% in the second quarter of 2012. In the euro area, the household saving rate was 13.0%, compared with 12.9% in the previous quarter. In the EU27, the gross investment rate of households was 8.0% in the third quarter of 2012, compared with 8.1% in the second quarter of 2012. In the euro area, the household investment rate was 8.9%, stable compared with the previous quarter. In the euro area, in nominal terms, household income rose by 0.3% in the third quarter of 2012, while consumption increased by 0.2% and investment fell by 0.3%.

The UK is to deploy about 330 military personnel to Mali and West Africa to support French forces, No 10 has said. This includes as many as 40 military advisers who will train soldiers in Mali, and 200 British soldiers to be sent to neighbouring African countries, also to help train the Malian army. (BBC.CO.UK).

An independent Spanish consumer group has found horsemeat in some beefburgers on sale in Spain. Horse DNA was detected in two out of 20 brands of burgers tested, the OCU group reported. The meat was not a health risk, but was mislabelled, it added. (BBC.CO.UK)

A court in France has suspended the restructuring plans of Peugeot Citroen, saying the carmaker had failed to consult some of its employees properly. The plans are controversial in France, as they involve 8,000 job cuts in the country and closure of a Paris factory. (BBC.CO.UK)

A third of Europeans have no savings at all, while in Spain and Italy half of the population is using up money put aside, a survey carried out by the German pollster TNS on behalf of ING Bank shows. (EUOBSERVER.COM)

France‘s politicians are defending the health of its economy after Labour Minister Michel Sapin described the state as „totally bankrupt“. Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said later that Mr Sapin‘s comments were not „appropriate“. (BBC.CO.UK)

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