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25 February 2024

What's on this week


By Nic Ridley

Tomorrow – Bafta Film Awards, London

Tomorrow – 51st Annual Grammy Awards, Los Angeles

Tomorrow – French President Nicolas Sarkozy, pictured, visits Tripoli, Libya

Tomorrow and Monday – Middle East Electricity 2009, the 34th annual energy event at Dubai International Exhibition Centre

Monday to Wednesday – Refining – Strategic, operational and commercial drivers at Traders Hotel, Dubai

Monday to Wednesday – Expo Riva Schuh Middle East 2009, the international footwear and leather goods fair, at the Expo Centre Sharjah

Tuesday to Thursday – Arabian World Construction Summit 2009, the second annual event launched last year by Meed, at Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi

Tuesday – Former Royal Bank of Scotland Group CEO Fred Goodwin and other bankers will be questioned by British politicians over the role played by banks in the financial crisis

Tuesday – Anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran

Friday – G7 finance ministers and central bank governors meet in Rome, Italy

This day in History

February 7, 1992 – The Maastricht Treaty, formally the Treaty on European Union, was signed in Maastricht, the Netherlands, after final negotiations in December the previous year between the members of the European Community. It came into force on November 1, 1993, during the Delors Commission. It created the European Union and led to the creation of the euro. The Maastricht Treaty has been amended to a degree by later treaties.

The process of ratifying the treaty was fraught with difficulties in three states. Denmark first rejected the treaty in June 1992 by fewer than 50,000 votes in a referendum. (The treaty was ratified by Denmark in May 1993)

In September 1992, a referendum in France only narrowly supported ratification, with 51.05 per cent in favour. In the United Kingdom, an opt-out from the treaty's social provisions was opposed in Parliament by Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, and the treaty itself by the 'Maastricht Rebels 'within the governing Conservative Party. The number of rebels exceeded the Conservative majority in the House of Commons, and thus the government of John Major came close to losing the confidence of the House.