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Breakfast pickle

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Why did Swiss Re's gherkin tower survive strong attempts to get it called in by the government? A clue may lie in a recent City breakfast meeting for companies who operate in the Square Mile. It was attended by none other than Tony Blair, who invited the assembled guests to raise difficulties they had working here.

One chap said it was terribly difficult dealing with the planning system, everything seemed to take so long. The PM asked for examples, at which point a Swiss Re representative described how his company, having been assured of a warm welcome for its development, had spent more than two years getting nowhere - when it could easily do the development in Zurich. Notes were taken, and the PM intimated that he would see what he could do. My advice to Swiss Re: get demolishing!

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