Athens close to deal over lease of former international airport

Greece aiming to close €915m agreement to lease the 444-acre plot to property consortium by the end of April as part of bailout programme

Greece is aiming to conclude a deal to lease a prime seaside property at the site of the former Athens International airport, as the country pushes on with state sell-offs as part of its bailout programme.

In 2014, Greece signed a €915m (£717m) deal to lease the property to a consortium that includes Chinese and Abu Dhabi-based firms.

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Financial sector confidence about UK economy drops sharply

Optimism among companies has fallen at fastest rate since 2011, reflecting fears of global slowdown and EU referendum uncertainty

Fears over the UK’s faltering economic outlook have been underlined by a survey showing a sharp drop in confidence among financial services firms, against the backdrop of the Chinese slowdown and the EU referendum.

Optimism among companies in the UK’s financial sector has fallen at the fastest rate since 2011, reflecting a backdrop of tumultuous markets and worries about a global economic slowdown. The downbeat outlook from one of the UK’s key sectors – which accounts for around 10% of GDP – will add to fears that the economy will slow this year amid global pressures and domestic challenges. The survey also indicated that banks in the UK are preparing to cut more jobs.

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Most UK manufacturers are struggling to recruit skilled workers – report

Business group EEF says skills shortage is putting productivity growth at risk and warns government over lack of support

Britain’s manufacturers are struggling to recruit skilled workers and keep pace with global technology, according to an industry report that criticises the government for lack of support.

Three-quarters of companies say they have faced difficulties finding the right workers in the last three years, according to business group EEF. It warns a skills shortage is putting productivity growth at risk and adding to pressure on manufacturers as they battle a host of pressures in domestic and overseas markets.

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Storm Katie dampens Easter shopping spree

Visits to UK shopping centres and high streets slump 6% and 10.5% on Saturday and Monday compared with last Easter

Retailers have been left counting the cost of Storm Katie after the wet and windy weather put a dampener on the traditional Easter spending spree.

The long weekend usually heralds the first big trading days since Christmas for the country’s store chains. But retail specialist Springboard, which tracks shopper numbers, said that after a boost from the sunny conditions on Good Friday the number of visits to shopping centres and high streets around the country slumped 6% and 10.5% on Saturday and Monday compared with last Easter.

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Weak US consumer spending expected to delay interest rate rise

Figures show consumer spending, which makes up more than two-thirds of US economic activity, edged up just 0.1% in February

Fresh evidence of subdued consumer spending and soft inflation in the US has bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve will hold back from raising interest rates over the coming months.

Related: Trade policy is no longer just for political nerds: it matters in the UK and US

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Rogues gallery: how photographers are targeting the 1%

With his CCTV-style pictures of London’s financial elite, Daniel Mayrit joins a growing number of activist photographers lifting the veil on the City

When the London riots kicked off in 2011, Daniel Mayrit was living in Tottenham, and he witnessed violent events on his doorstep. A few months later, he received a police leaflet in the post featuring faces of the alleged participants, taken from CCTV cameras, which asked neighbours to help identify them. At the same time, banks were being bailed out and financial scandals were rolling out in the press.

“On the one hand we had the petty thieves that maybe had stolen a TV in the supermarket, and on the other those responsible for the financial crisis,” says Mayrit. “The difference was that in one case we got their images delivered to our homes, in the other we had no idea who they were or what they looked like. There was a representation vacuum, and I wanted to put faces on them the way that power puts faces on criminals.”

Related: Strange and Familiar indeed – these photographs of the life I lived are eye-opening | Ian Jack

Related: What really goes on inside the City of London?

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