Australian-born Rupert Murdoch – whose family controls News Corporation, one of the planet’s largest media empires, and who dumped his country of birth to enhance his business ambitions in the USA – now plans to tell Britons how they should vote in any upcoming referendum on the UK’s adoption of the Euro monetary system.

The media tycoon was frank when interviewed Monday by the Financial Times: he would instruct his editorial staff at national newspaper titles The Times, the Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World – between them accounting for over 20% of all UK newspaper readership – to root loudly for a ‘No’ vote. News Corporation also holds a 36.3% stake in satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Clad temporarily in the Union Jack, Murdoch opined: “Europe is made up of so many diverse cultures and histories that to slam it altogether with a government of French bureaucrats answerable to nobody ... I cannot see anything but benefit by waiting.”

The UK government line that it will not join the euro unless the nation’s economy meets five self-imposed tests. It is thought that Britain's economy will converge with these criteria some time in 2003 when the government is expected to set a date for a national referendum.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff