‘We will defend ourselves’: Argentine defence minister ups the ante over Falklands

Arturo Puricelli accused Britain of trying to provoke Argentina into turning a diplomatic conflict into an armed conflict.

He said that Argentina will “put up with” British armed forces in the Falklands.

“But if they reach our continental territory we will exercise our legitimate right of defence and we have the resources and the skills to do so,” he warned.

Mr Puricelli told reporters in Buenos Aires that Britain “is hoping Argentina will fall in the temptation of taking arms”.

But, despite his defiant words, he added that the Argentine government’s strategy regarding the Falklands “will always be to go through diplomatic channels”.

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Bank of England injects £50bn into economy

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to increase its quantitative easing programme, which will take the total assets purchased to £325bn since the process was first started in March 2009. It said the latest round of purchases would take three months to complete.

Interest rates were left on hold at 0.5pc as expected.

In a statement accompanying the decision, the Bank justified its decision against a backdrop of a weak economy, uncertain outlook, and falling inflation. It said without more stimulus, inflation was more likely to fall below the 2pc target in the medium-term.

The Bank said: “In the United Kingdom, the underlying pace of recovery slowed during 2011, with activity falling slightly during the final quarter.

“Some recent business surveys have painted a more positive picture and asset prices have risen. But the pace of expansion in the United Kingdom’s main export markets has also slowed and concerns remain about the indebtedness and competitiveness of some euro-area countries.”

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