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MORGAN FORMALLY APPIONTED WELSH FIRST SECRETARY BUT MATCH-FUNDING ROW RUMBLES ON

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Rhodri Morgan was yesterday formally elected first secretary of the Welsh assembly and immediately called for a per...
Rhodri Morgan was yesterday formally elected first secretary of the Welsh assembly and immediately called for a period of calm and continuity, reports The Guardian (p10).

Mr Morgan, who was elected unopposed, said he felt 'tremendous emotion, honour and privilege' at having been appointed to the job.

He paid a 'huge tribute' to Alun Michael, his predecessor. 'Nobody could have worked harder for Wales and nobody with an ounce of humanity about them could have failed to be moved by the dignity that he showed last week and is still showing now.'

Meanwhile, the row over European funding which toppled Mr Michael spread to Scotland yesterday, with the Scottish National Party calling for a full parliamentary inquiry after an independent report appeared to lend weight to claims that the treasury is breaking the additionality rules which require funds from Brussels to be matched by UK funding in Scotland as well as Wales.

Gillian Bristow, of Cardiff Business School, says the method by which EU funds are dispersed to Wales and Scotland, through the block grant system, means neither country is getting its full entitlement.

'The EC and EU money should be additional to existing public expenditure,' said Dr Bristow. 'At present it is very difficult to assess that that is the case. In Wales it is probably not the case and the arguments are that the same thing must be happening in Scotland.'

The SNP has estimated that Scotland has lost out on£730m since 1993 because of the funding system.

A treasury spokesman refuted suggestions that rules were being broken on the issue, and a spokesman for the Scottish executive said there was no question of Scotland having lost out because of the way structural funds are managed.

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