Olli Rehn, European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, said: 'The commission disagrees with S&P that member states' obligations to the budget in a stress scenario are questionable.
The most desirable place to live in the UK has been named as Hart in Hampshire for the third year in a row. The district's residents were found to be the healthiest and live the longest in the UK, while employment was well above the national average.
Britain is on course to post its strongest annual growth since 2007 according to official data - though the same figures showed the recovery is badly out of kilter, with the UK's trade deficit ballooning to its highest level in almost 25 years.
Vulnerable customers in the North East who were targeted by energy giant Npower could be in line for compensation after a key finding by regulator Ofgem.
The public accounts committee (PAC), chaired by Margaret Hodge, has strongly criticised HM Revenue & Customs for overestimating by �2.5bn the amount of money it expected to collect from a deal with the Swiss authorities to tackle tax evasion.