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Summary

  1. Eurozone meeting in Luxembourg breaks up with no deal on Greek debts
  2. Sales at Poundland exceed £1bn for the first time
  3. New Barratt finance chief hired from William Hill

Live Reporting

By Ian Pollock

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Cheerio

    BBC test card

    That's it for today. Back at 06:00 tomorrow. Sleep tight.

  2. Eurozone bailout fund profit

    The eurozone bailout fund posted a profit of €444m (£317m) last year. In 2013, it made a profit of €254m (£181m). The two-year old fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), makes its profits mainly from the interest it charges on loans to eurozone states. These are used to fill a reserve fund that serves as a buffer against possible losses. Timing rather ironic, somehow.

  3. US financial markets

    Dow Jones graph

    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 179 points to 18,114.57. The S&P 500 went up 21 points to 2,121. And the Nasdaq rose 68 points to 5,133.

    On the foreign exchanges the pound currently buy you 1 dollar 58.9 and 1 euro 39.7.

  4. Caffe Nero badgered

    Badger

    Government minister Chris Grayling says Caffe Nero's decision to boycott milk from dairy farms in badger cull zones is "utterly unacceptable". The coffee shop chain stopped taking milk from some farms because of what it called "serious and credible threats" to staff.

  5. Greece and its debts

    Yanis Varoufakis

    Andrew Walker, the BBC's economics correspondent, explains to me that Mr Varoufakis's complicated grand plan (as I called it) is not in fact to wipe away some of Greece's borrowings. He (Varoufakis) wants effectively to re-schedule the borrowings, to make the flow of cash repayments easier for the Greek government. Not that the eurozone has shown any interest in discussing any of this, it seems.

  6. Greece - Varoufakis speaks

    If the eurozone accepted his proposals, "our economy would simply fly," asserts Mr Varoufakis to the listening journalists.

  7. Greece - Varoufakis speaks

    Yanis Varoufakis

    Mr Varoufakis says that actually collecting any higher rates of VAT, to bolster Greek government finances, is a practical impossibility because of the country's habit of tax dodging. As an example, he said that last summer two Greek islands - Santorini and Mykonos - saw their visitors double, but VAT collection dropped by about third. He said this was a scandal, but pushing VAT rates higher would simply fail to collect more money.

  8. Greece - Varoufakis speaks

    Yanis Varoufakis

    The Greek finance minister takes a swipe some of his eurozone counterparts and says his country has been the subject of "political asphyxiation" - and that this is what is leading to the outflow of cash from the country's banks.

  9. Greece - Varoufakis speaks

    Yanis Varoufakis

    Perhaps surprisingly, Mr Varoufakis tells journalists in Luxembourg that he "will not even begin to contemplate" Greece leaving the euro.

  10. Greece - Varoufakis speaks

    Yanis Varoufakis

    After outlining what sounds like a complicated grand plan for the eurozone institutions to wipe away some of Greece's debts, he ends with a warning. He says the participants in the long-running talks are "dangerously close to a state of mind which falls prey to an accident."

  11. Greece - Varoufakis speaks

    Mr Varoufakis warns that Greece is in danger of running into a so-called "primary deficit" which, he says, would mean it could no longer "pay its way", such as paying the wages of state employees.

  12. Greece - Varoufakis speaks

    Yanis Varoufakis

    The Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis is talking to journalists in Luxembourg. Earlier, the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said the international institutions had always shown flexibility towards Greece. But Mr Varoufakis in effect accuses the country's creditors of being unwilling to compromise, or even think about reforms which are different to those demanded by the creditor organisations.

  13. Greece

    Back in Athens, this report from the Associated Press: "At least 6,000 people have gathered outside Parliament in central Athens in a peaceful demonstration backing the country's membership in [of] the currency zone and the European Union. Scores of demonstrators, waving Greek flags climbed the marble staircase leading to the threshold of the Parliament building."

  14. Greece and Russia

    Moscow skyline

    "The Kremlin has not had any requests from Greece for financial aid, says Russia's finance minister," according to the Interfax news agency. "There has been no official approach," said Anton Siluanov.

  15. Greek debt

    Mr Dijsselbloem says that if keeping Greece in the eurozone is not possible "we are prepared for all eventualities". So is that (finally) a public admission that the EU does have a plan to let Greece abandon the euro, and maybe even leave the EU itself?

  16. Greece - more talks

    Mr Tusk says: "It is time to urgently discuss the situation of Greece at the highest political level." What, now that it may be too late?

  17. Greek debt

    BBC correspondent James Reynolds, from Athens

    The National Bank of Greece

    "Here near the cashpoints of central Athens, there's no panic, no rush. At the nearest machine, there's not even a queue. But quietly over the past week, Greeks have been withdrawing more and more of their savings. They're taking out cash as a precaution. They don't want their savings frozen if banks are forced to impose capital controls."

  18. Greece - more talks

    The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, says he has called an emergency meeting of the heads of government from the Eurozone, to discuss Greece next Monday evening.

  19. Greece - 'come back, please...'

    Pierre Moscovici

    More from the eurozone news conference, the one where (again) no progress has been made in talks with the Greeks about their debts. The EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici told journalists: "We are ready to work day and night for a deal. There is little time to avoid the worse... we are reaching the end of the game. I call on Greek government to come back, seriously, to the negotiating table."

  20. Greece -'last opportunity'

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Euro group, says this is Greece's last opportunity to strike a deal. He also said Greece had not put forward any concrete reform proposals. So no agreement is in sight, he said.

  21. Greece - agreement still possible

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Euro group says agreement with Greece is still possible. The ball, however, is in Greece's court.

  22. Greece - talks end no deal

    For the more dedicated among you. The media conference following those talks in Luxembourg can be found here. Press conference opening remarks by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Euro group and then the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, will also speak.

  23. Greece - talks end no deal

    The Euro group meeting in Luxembourg has finished - one European Commissioner has tweeted that no agreement with Greece has been made. Diplomats in Luxembourg have played down a report in a German newspaper (Die Zeit) that Greece has been offered an extension to its bailout deal until the end of the year. Media reports suggesting a similar possible detail also emerged last week.

  24. Greece - talks end no deal

    Reuters reports the eurozone talks on Greece end with no deal.

  25. Fake reviews for sale

    review website

    A BBC investigation has found a global trade in fake customer reviews. Research suggests at least 20% of comments posted on review websites are bogus. There is evidence that companies are paying writers to post positive comments to boost the profile of their business. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority will publish its first report into the problem on Friday.

  26. Greek deal?

    Meanwhile Germany's Die Zeit newspaper (online edition) says Greece's creditors plan to offer an extension of their existing aid programme until the end of this year. But without the involvement of the International Monetary Fund.

  27. Greek deal?

    Yanis Varoufakis

    Reuters is reporting that the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has presented new proposals to fellow eurozone finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg. It cites a Greek government official as the source. "Varoufakis is presenting new ideas right now. The proposals are based on fiscal consolidation that needs to go with debt sustainability." Nothing more on that as yet.

  28. Killingholme

    Killingholme power station

    E.On has confirmed it will close its Killingholme gas-fired power station in Lincolnshire. It has been under threat of closure since late last year when it failed late last year to win a contract under the government's scheme which pays plants to remain online to 2018-19.

  29. Help to buy

    Sold sign

    More than 100,000 people in England have used the government's various "help to buy" schemes. The housing minister Brandon Lewis said that 101,972 home buyers had used them. They include the equity loan and mortgage guarantee schemes launched in 2013, as well as the NewBuy scheme which offers 95% mortgages to people buying a new-build home. About 80% of the people have been first-time buyers.

  30. Financial markets

    FTSE graph

    In London the 100 share index closed 27 points higher at 6708.

    In Paris the Cac-40 index rose 13 to 4,803. And in Frankfurt the Dax index rose 122 to 11,100.

    On the foreign exchanges the pound rose half a cent to 1 dollar 58.8. It fell slightly to 1 euro 39.3.

  31. Mortgage lending

    A low key statistic from earlier today. Total mortgage lending rose by just 2% between April and May and stood at £16.2bn. That was a bit lower than in May last year though. The Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) said that mortgage approval figures from the Bank of England have suggested that lending will rise in the coming months.

  32. Toyota arrest

    Julie Hamp

    How odd. Toyota's head of PR, a US citizen called Julie Hamp, has been arrested in Japan on suspicion of illegally importing a banned drug. The drug in question was a painkiller called Oxycodone and she had sent it in the post from the US to Narita airport in Tokyo. She hasn't said why she did this, but has said she didn't think it was illegal to do so. Oxycodone is a prescription drug in the US but you need special permission to bring it into Japan.

  33. Greek debt

    Greek ATMs

    People in Greece are clearly becoming nervous, if they are not already so. Cash withdrawals are speeding up and about 2bn euros have been taken out of Greek banks in the past three days. That represented about 1.5% of all household and corporate deposits, as of the end of April.

  34. Greek debt

    Mr Dijsselbloem has had more to say on this point. "The promise we made at the end of 2012 is still valid. But it was conditional on the Greek government sticking to all its commitments in the programme, which has not happened," he said. "It would require in other words a positive review of the programme and we are nowhere near - we don't even agree on what should be done to come to that review." The impasse continues.

  35. Greek debt

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem

    News from Luxembourg. The eurozone finance ministers have not in fact discussed the debt restructuring proposed by Greece, according to Reuters. Why? Because they want Athens to first implement the reforms it promised, in exchange for the loans it has already had from the eurozone, said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the eurozone finance ministers.

  36. RBS IT failure

    RBS branch

    RBS is promising to spend even more money on its computers after yesterday's widespread account problems. It says it will spend around £150m a year to make its computer systems more "resilient", the bank's chief administration officer, Simon McNamara, said on Thursday. After previous big problems running customers' accounts, the bank had already promised to spend an extra £750m by the end of this year. "Technology will on occasion fail," said McNamara. "If and when that occurs, we need to ensure we can mask the impact on customers and recover as quickly and effectively as possible."

  37. Greece 'willing to offer any measure that will help'

    BBC Radio 4

    Euclid Tsakalotos

    So what are the Greeks prepared to offer their international creditors to unlock more funds? "We are willing to offer any measure that will help the economy, that will sequence reforms so that what we do now is coherent in itself, that sets the ground for future reforms," said Greece's chief negotiator Euclid Tsakalotos.

  38. Paris air show

    antonov

    The BBC's Theo Leggett has been at the Paris air show. He had a look around a Ukrainian Antonov AN-178 transport aircraft. What do you get for your $40m? It'll shift two shipping containers if you need it to, he says. Or three hummer vehicles. Take a look at the video on the website.

  39. Greece 'must have red lines on pensions'

    BBC Radio 4

    Euclid Tsakaloto

    The eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Luxembourg this afternoon. The Greek debt crisis on the agenda. Many Greek families rely on pensions, so that must be a red line for negotiations, said chief Greek negotiator, Euclid Tsakalotos, earlier. "What Greece now needs after 40% cuts in pensions is a pension reform, but pensions reform is something that happens over a long period. What they're asking for is pensions to be reduced in a country where a granny's or a grandad's pension of €400 in many cases serves the whole family, grandchildren or children who are unemployed. We have over 50% youth unemployment. Really there must be red lines on our part on pensions and a few other areas."

  40. Post update

    Howard Mustoe

    Business reporter

    That's enough from Tom and me today. Get a load more from the morning team from 06:00. Until then, we hand over to Ian.

  41. US inflation figures

    Inflation picked up in the US last month. The consumer price index rose by 0.4% in just one month. That was the biggest monthly increase for more than two years. But over the year, the US inflation rate was in fact flat and stood at precisely 0%.

  42. EasyJet expansion

    jet

    EasyJet said it will expand its bases in Italy at Milan and Naples and open a new base in Venice from April‎ 2016. "Our expansion in these three airports will bring thousands of direct and indirect jobs in each region and will ensure EasyJet remains the largest airline at each airport giving all three cities the best network connecting them with the rest of Europe," said EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall.‎

  43. Greece debt talks

    debt

    If you need a quick reminder of what's at stake for all concerned in Greece's debt crisis, we have a handy video on the website. The BBC's Andrew Walker has been looking at the figures.

  44. Spanish bonds

    Rates on Spain's debt crept up in an auction of government bonds as investors worried about Greece's future in the eurozone. The yield on 10-year bonds sold at auction rose to 2.35% from 2.2% at the last auction on 2 June, according to the Spanish Treasury.

  45. UK 'should cut fossil fuel subsidies'

    BBC News Channel

    Ecotricity founder Dale Vince

    The government's intention to cut energy subsidies is correct, but should be focused more on fossil fuels, Ecotricity founder Dale Vince tells BBC News. "This focus doesn't make a lot of sense... onshore wind costs £10 per household per year, and makes that 5% contribution [to UK electricity needs]... we spend £30bn a year subsidising the fossil fuel industry - that's £1,000 per household per year, and the government really should be targeting that, because we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels anyway." He adds that air pollution in the UK from burning fossil fuels "is the third biggest killer" per year.

  46. Supersize me?

    mac

    McDonald's plans to close more restaurants in the US than it opens this year. That will be the first time since at least 1970 the fast food giant has shrunk in size, according to research by newswire AP. Other chains have clearly been eating its lunch.

  47. Gay lights

    Gay traffic lights

    Not strictly business, but let's edge it in under the "tourism" tag. The Austrian city of Salzburg has installed a handful of gay-themed pedestrian crossing lights. These were used in the recent Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna and apparently proved so popular Salzburg thought they'd have a few as well. It is the home of the Sound of Music... think those curtain-fabric short dungarees.

  48. Pope speaks on environment

    Pope Francis

    Pope Francis has issued his encyclical - a letter to bishops - on the environment. He is framing the debate on the environment in moral terms. Big business and people who doubt climate change come under fire. Strong words. He calls for a bold cultural revolution to correct the "structurally perverse" economic system of the rich exploiting the poor that is turning earth into an "immense pile of filth."

  49. Warren Buffett Beanz buy

    Beans tin

    Warren Buffett's investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway now owns the lion's share of beans and ketchup giant, Heinz. The company has added an extra 5.4% which means it owns 52.5% of Heinz.

  50. UK retail sales in May

    Shoppers on Oxford St

    The retail lobby group the British Chambers of Commerce is happy we're shopping, but says we need to find something else to do to balance out retail's dominance. Its veteran chief economist, David Kern, said: "Although vibrant household consumption is vital to the economy's well-being, we must remember that the UK's economic growth remains unbalanced and is too reliant on consumer spending. Unless we can achieve a rebalancing in the structure of our growth, there is a risk that the recovery may eventually stall."

  51. Market update

    The FTSE 100 Index has declined to its lowest level since January and dropped another 25.9 points to 6654.7. Stocks have been depressed by a lack of progress in Greece's debt talks.

  52. Wind farm subsidies

    The CBI is concerned about the DECC's changes to wind farm subsidies. Katja Hall, the lobby group's director general, says it is a worrying development: "This is a blow, not just to the industry, and could damage our reputation as a good place to invest in energy infrastructure."

  53. Bard bandits

    bard

    Bloomberg reports on Shakespeare-quoting internet fraudsters trying to steal from British banks. The Russian-designed Trojan software stole millions from UK computer users, it says.

  54. Greek chief negotiator: "We must be able to keep our promises'

    BBC Radio 4

    Greece's chief negotiator Euclid Tsakaloto tells Today the country must be able to keep its fiscal promises: "As an economist I must be able to tell my prime minster that we can keep our promises. So if we agree for a fiscal surplus of 1% this year and 2% next year, then I have to be able to tell him that we can meet that, not that we're going to have more recession that will make those targets unfeasible, and then the Europeans will come back and say: 'You can't talk to the Greeks because they never deliver their promises'. And that has been a self-fulfilling prophesy if a deal is not economically feasible."

  55. Via Email

    UK retail sales rise in May

    Keith Richardson

    managing director retail sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

    "Last month's high figures showed that when the conditions are right, canny consumers can still be persuaded to spend on a bargain. But after the sunniest April on record, May was another cold month - which must have felt like the return to a long winter for retailers."

  56. UK retail sales in May

    petrol

    Online sales increased by 7.4% compared with May 2014, says the ONS. Average store prices fell by 2.7% in May 2015 compared with the year earlier. This is the 11th consecutive month of year-on-year price falls, it said. The largest contribution for the decline came from petrol stations, where prices fell by 10.2%.

  57. Merkel: Greece 'must tackle reforms'

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed that a Greek deal can be reached. In a speech to the German Parliament, she said Greece's government in February "committed itself to comprehensive structural reforms," and that "these must now be tackled with determination." She added: "Germany's efforts are directed to Greece remaining in the eurozone.

  58. Greek negotiations

    BBC Radio 4

    "So what we are saying is, that further compromises can be made, we can search for common ground, but the end product of what we agree on reforms, on the financing for the future, on the investment programme must be economically feasible," Mr Tsakalotos tells Today.

  59. Greek negotiator: 'Deal must be economically feasible'

    BBC Radio 4

    A Greek national flag flutters next to a statue of ancient Greek goddess Athena, in Athens

    Greece's chief negotiator and junior foreign minister Euclid Tsakalotos tells the Today programme: "The nature of the deal has to be one that is economic feasible. A couple of weeks ago we presented our ideas which we thought was the common ground of the negotiations of the last two or three months. We think that we have been in a compromising mood, we've been suggesting ideas, whereas the institutions presented a paper that was very close to their original bid."

  60. Via Twitter

    Paris air show

    Theo Leggett

    Business reporter, BBC News

    plane

    tweets: Looks great, but if you're trying to work too darned noisy. Hear my report from #pa15 on @bbcworldservice at 0830bst

  61. Hornby raises funds

    trains

    Model train-maker Hornby says it has raised £15m from investors to pay off bank debt and will apply to join AIM rather than being listed on the main market. It is asking for approval for the plans from its shareholders. "Shareholders should note that AIM is self-regulated and that the protections afforded to investors in AIM companies are less rigorous than those afforded to investors in companies listed on the premium segment of the official list," it warns.

  62. Banker conduct

    BBC Radio 4

    Browne

    The British Bankers' Association - the bank lobby group - has its retail banking conference today. Anthony Browne, the group's chief executive, also spoke to Today. Culture and conduct will be one of the themes at the conference. What progress has been made, asks presenter Simon Jack? "It is clearly a very big issue.... the banks are doing a lot to improve conduct but its a very difficult thing to change overnight; these are big organisations."

  63. Poundland results

    poundland

    Sales at Poundland exceeded £1bn for the first time, said the company. Total sales rose 11.9% to £1.12bn for the year to 29 March from £997.8m for the year earlier. The retailer opened 60 new stores, giving it 588 outlets in the UK and Ireland.

  64. New Barratt finance chief

    Home builder Barratt Developments says it has hired William Hill's finance director Neil Cooper. Mr Cooper was finance chief at Bovis Homes before his move to the bookmaker.

  65. Wind farm subsidies

    wind

    The government has confirmed that subsidies for onshore windfarms are to end a year earlier than planned. The move is in line with the Conservative Party manifesto commitment to end any new public subsidy for onshore wind. There will be a grace period for projects which already have planning permission, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said. But it is estimated that almost 3,000 wind turbines are awaiting planning permission and this announcement jeopardises those plans. Energy firms had been facing an end to generous subsidies in 2017.

  66. RBS IT failure 'unacceptable'

    Radio 5 live

    RBS logo sign

    The RBS IT failure that saw around 600,000 payments fail to enter the accounts of customers this week was "unacceptable" says Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers' Association. "The banks are already aware of this as an issue. A lot of them have creaking IT systems. They're spending £3bn a year upgrading their IT systems - it's one of the biggest IT upgrades that Britain has ever seen."

  67. Fed press conference

    BBC Radio 4

    Coutts' chief investment officer Alan Higgins is the markets guest on Today, analysing the Fed's pronouncements on rates. Fed Chair "Janet Yellen pushes us towards - 'Forget about the date of the next rate rose, focus on it being very very gradual'," he says. Rates aren't going to rise any time soon seems to be the message, he adds. Moving on to stock markets: they're down after a good run. "It's only natural in the way of markets, to see some profit-taking."

  68. Greece: 'Markets still expect resolution'

    Radio 5 live

    Greece, EU flags

    The markets still expect some kind of resolution between Greece and its creditors, Paul Kavanagh of Patronus tells 5 live. "But what we've got to go through until that point is clearly this 'toys out of the pram' type conversation, that 'we're prepared to walk away'."

  69. China investment

    steel

    Growth in foreign investment in China slowed to 7.8% in May, the commerce ministry said, but outward investment to other countries surged almost 50% in the first five months of the year. Foreign investment rose 10.5% in April. "I think foreign direct investment will continue to grow steadily," said Shen Danyang, ministry spokesman.

  70. Greece: 'No easy answers'

    Radio 5 live

    Regardless of whether a deal is reached on Greece within the coming weeks, "it's probably not right to continue kicking this can down the road", Paul Kavanagh from Patronus tells Wake Up to Money. "But there are no easy answers to this. If they do pull out the expectation is their economy could drop by 12% to 15%, significant devaluation of savings, concern over the banks' run of capital, that's not a pleasant scenario. The alternative is... some kind of fudge."

  71. Good morning

    Coming up we have UK retail sales for May, and Poundland has its full year preliminary results out. Also there will be another European finance minister meeting this afternoon to discuss the state of play with Greece. Get in touch via email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk, or via Twitter @BBCBusiness.