Blog Archives

Austerity News


There’s a good reason we haven’t rioted over all the austerity

Irish Independent
For the past five years the Irish people have been hammered almost senseless by austerity. And it’s not like we’ve sleepwalked through it: week in and week out the airwaves, papers and social media are on fire with frenzied analysis and furious reaction.
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The Irish Economy – Brendan and Dermot Walsh on health and austerity

Dermot and Brendan Walsh have just published a provocative comment in the British Medical Journal on the link between health and austerity  [http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f4140/rr/651853]. Momentary relief from the deliberations on Anglo! The comment reads: Ireland is – after Greece – the country where the post 2008 structural adjustment programme, aka austerity, has been proportionately most severe. Yet there are […] read full article

irisheconomy.ie

Agreement reached on austerity measures and reforms for European civil service

Invest in EU
They confirmed an agreement achieved on Tuesday (25) by representatives of the Parliament, theIrish Presidency and the Commission which was already supported by the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee yesterday (24). Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič 
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Austerity: the elderly can be part of the solution to this economic mess
The Guardian
Will Hutton is rightly appalled by the stupidity of George Osborne and the coalition’s economic policies, which even Vince Cable and the Lib Dems are now beginning to realise are taking us in an accelerating downward spiral (“Blame austerity, not old 
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Portland’s Austerity Resistance Movement Sparks Changes to City
Bay Area Indymedia
This latest round of cuts promised to be the worst of several successive years of austeritymeasures. Each time city officials have told the public that “temporary” sacrifices need to be made now to enable the economy toå turn around tomorrow. Each 
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France to deepen austerity cuts next year – paper
Times of Oman
France to deepen austerity cuts next year – paper. by Reuters June 29, 2013 , 7 : 38 pm SAVE THIS ARTICLE. Share. Tweet. E-mail. Young French people demonstrate against President Hollande’s economic policies in Paris. Photo – Daniel Finnan via Flickr 
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More Austerity Seen Coming For Greece
Greek Reporter
The newspaper Kathimerini said it had seen a revised memorandum between Greece and the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) which calls for new austerity measures unless revenues can be 
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The pain of mining austerity: 7000 Queensland coal jobs gone

MINING.com
Roughly 7000 coal sector jobs have disappeared from the Australian state of Queensland in just over a year, The Courier-Mail reported Saturday. “New market realities” including collapsing commodity prices, slowing Asian demand and diminishing profits 
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France in double-dip recession amid austerity measures: Analysts
Press TV
Analysts say French leaders are continuing with austerity measures and cuts although reports indicate that France is in a double-dip recession, Press TV reports. “France is in recession because President Francois Hollande has chosen austerity. But 
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Austerity starts at home, cut political salaries first: Lithuanian president

euronews
After a successful Irish EU presidency, which saw real steps taken on banking union and the bloc’s budget, euronews met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaité to discuss which course she plans to chart for the European Union over the next six 
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Austerity and the Mistaken Lessons of History
New Yorker (blog)
At this stage, when even the International Monetary Fund has turned against Osborne and called upon him to reverse course, I won’t bother retreading the arguments against austerity. Suffice it to say that compared with the behavior of the U.S. economy, 
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Austerity is like ‘bleeding’ the patient – and may be as deadly


Irish Independent
Retail sales, which were looking up only a few months ago, are falling, no doubt as a result of sustained austerity, which reduces disposable income, and uncertainty surrounding the property tax. Three things explain the decline. First, austerity is 
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Austerity Opera made to inspire next generation
Cotswold News
Two enterprising Midlands arts companies are staging a full-scale opera, based on Homer’s epics The Iliad & The Odyssey, on a budget that would barely pay for the wardrobe of most opera houses. Coventry-based Talking Birds Theatre Company and 
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Prince Charles: Taxpayers’ bill for austerity heir HALVES in one year
Mirror.co.uk
He’s not exactly surviving on bread and water, but Prince Charles has halved the amount of taxpayers’ money he has splashed out, figures revealed today. The public bill for the heir to the throne fell from £2.2million to £1.15million in the last 
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Portuguese strike against austerity
RT
Portuguese strike against austerity. Thousands of people have been marching towards the parliament in Lisbon as trade unions, which represent around 1 million workers, staged a 24-hour strike. This protest was aimed against relentless austerity 
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The Austerity Bus arrives in Weston-super-Mare
ITV News
The TUC Austerity Bus has arrived in Weston for a rally organised by the union, Unison. Many of its members work at Weston General Hospital and say they are concerned at proposals to privatise it. The hospital has struggled with debt and new methods of 
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Miners to offer austerity help to Durham’s former pit villages
The Northern Echo
The Durham Miners’ Association has called the first meeting to discuss the union’s response toausterity measures at the Glebe Centre, in Murton on Tuesday, July 2 at 5.30pm. It will discuss the impact of unemployment, benefit cuts and the so-called 
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UK Labour Party Admits Austerity Plans

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Anglo Irish Bank- Latest updates from Home and Abroad


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Irish central bank probes tapes
South China Morning Post
“Any suggestion that the taxpayer was lured into bailing out Anglo Irish Bank under a false impression about the state of the bank’s financial condition is deeply disturbing and has to be fully investigated by the authorities,” said its finance 
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Absence of women fuelled Gordon Gekko ‘greed is good’ culture – Independent.ie

THERE is something missing from the Anglo Tapes in all their tawdry, almost satirical glory. That missing something is women. read full article

independent.ie

Bank’s shame taints Ireland in media all over the world

THE Anglo Tapes scandal continued to snowball around the world, with former manager John Bowe’s recital of ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ and former chief executive David Drumm’s comments tha read full article

independent.ie

How bankers planned policy of deception

THE latest Anglo Tapes were recorded on September 19, 2008. read full article

independent.ie

Kenny meets Merkel for talks as her party colleagues rage

ENDA Kenny spoke with Angela Merkel yesterday – but the mounting fury in Germany over the revelations in the Anglo Tapes was not discussed. read full article

independent.ie

The Anglo Tapes has made the front page of this German tabloid

And another German newspaper says that Anglo bankers and others should be put in sack and beaten. read full article

thejournal.ie

Irish central bank probes whether tapes show rule-breaking

Globe and Mail
Ireland’s central bank will investigate whether tapes of senior bankers laughing at regulators contain evidence rules were broken during the 2008 rescue of failed lenders that eventually led to the country’s EU bailout. In a statement on Wednesday, the 
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Anglo Irish Bank German comments are ‘unbearable,’ Angela Merkel ally

Irish Independent
GERMAN people are disgusted and offended at reported comments that show executives at the failed Anglo Irish Bank Corp targeted German deposits and one banker singing ‘Deutschland ueber alles,’ a German lawmaker has told Bloomberg news.
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Drumm: ‘Another day, another billion’

In the hours leading up to the bank guarantee in September 2008, the CEO of Anglo, David Drumm, joked about the haemorrhage of cash from the bank.read full article

breakingnews.ie

Fresh questions over Drumm’s public statements on bank’s finances

FRESH questions have been raised about public declarations by then chief executive David Drumm that Anglo Irish Bank was solvent and profitable in late 2008, after the Irish Independent read full article

independent.ie

Anglo Irish Bank’s John Bowe and Peter Fitzgerald Defend Secret Phone Call 
IBTimes.co.uk
The Anglo Irish Bank bosses, who were secretly taped on the phone, have categorically denied that they deliberately misled the government and regulators about the financial health of the group, prior to the huge bailout that brought Ireland’s economy 

Irish central bank probes whether tapes show rule-breaking
Yahoo!7 News
Public outrage is growing in Ireland after a newspaper published transcripts of taped telephone conversations between executives of the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank, wrecked when a property bubble burst in 2008 after years of reckless lending. Rescuing 

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Dublin plans Anglo Irish inquiry amid public anger
Financial Times
Dublin aims to set up a public inquiry into the banking crash in the autumn in response to deep public anger caused by the broadcast of taped phone calls suggesting Anglo Irish Bank deliberately misled the previous government into supporting the lender 
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James Moore: Irish are not laughing at bankers’ crude jokes
The Independent
Outlook Yesterday provided yet more evidence of the depths to which the banking industry sank during the lead-up to and during the crisis. The fact that it came from across the Irish Sea doesn’t make it any less relevant. Senior executives at Anglo 
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Irish bankers joke over bailout at EU’s expense
The Independent
It was not just generous Irish taxpayers being mocked by the bailout-hungry executives at AngloIrish Bank. New recordings leaked yesterday showed them laughing at the German government as it pumped billions of euros in to shore up the stricken bank.
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Anglo Irish Bank scandal: ‘we are offended’ says German politician
The Guardian
The behaviour of the Anglo Irish executives has turned them into national hate figures in the Republic and now, it appears, also in the country which has supplied most of Europe’s money to prop up not only the Irish banking system but also the entire 
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Anglo Irish Bank News Round up from Home and Abroad


Burton calls on Cowen to reveal what happened on night of bank guarantee

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen is under deepening pressure to come clean over the bank guarantee scheme. read full article

breakingnews.ie

Anglo Irish Bank tapes: executives mock Germans amid bailout

The Guardian
Disgraced Anglo Irish Bank chiefs were recorded singing “Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles” as they joked about German money flowing into the country after a state guarantee of its deposits, it has emerged. The bankers are heard joking and singing 

Anglotapes: If they saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide they have a choice.

Following the release of tapes of Anglo staff discussing how they present their case for support, in the lead up to the bank guarantee, there are more revelations in todays Irish Independent (which has been breaking the story). You can listen to the tapes via the Indo’s website (at the links above), but here are… read full article

sluggerotoole.com

Irish ‘rage’ after bank manipulated multi-billion bailout
EUobserver.com
BRUSSELS – Irish leader Enda Kenny has said he understands “the rage and the anger” of Irishpeople on Monday (24 June) following a leak of taped conversations by two Anglo-Irish bank bosses which indicate the Irish government was conned into 

Top Irish Bankers Hoodwinked Government Over Bailout, Secret Recordings Show
Business Insider
A top banker with the financial institution that almost bankrupted Ireland boasted that he had picked the figure of €7bn (£5.9bn) they told the Irish government was needed to rescue the Anglo Irish Bank “out of his arse.” Taped phone calls between two 

Former Anglo Irish chief executive Drumm happy to abuse State guarantee
Irish Times
David Drumm, former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, tells a senior manager at the bank in the latest tape revelations: “We won’t do anything blatant, but . . . we have to get the money in . . . get the f***in’ money in, get it in.” Photograph 

News 18 new results for Irish News
Anglo Irish Bank tapes: executives mock Germans amid bailout
The Guardian
Disgraced Anglo Irish Bank chiefs were recorded singing “Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles” as they joked about German money flowing into the country after a state guarantee of its deposits, it has emerged. The bankers are heard joking and singing 


The Guardian
Irish Open guide
SkySports
The Colin Montgomerie-designed course is 10 years old, has little in the way of water hazards but an abundance of deep bunkers. Despite being inland – around 10 miles west of Dublin city centre – it offers a distinct links feel. And with putting 

Anglo Irish scandal complicates Dublin’s debt negotiations
Financial Times
Senior executives at Anglo Irish Bank had laughed off concerns expressed by Irish regulators and EU governments that they were abusing the bank guarantee issued by Dublin at the height of the financial crisis by using it to lure bank deposits from the 

Irish outrage grows over ‘arrogant’ failed bank
Reuters UK
Pedestrians walk past the Anglo Irish Bank head offices, in Belfast March 25, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton. By Sam Cage and Conor Humphries. DUBLIN | Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:19pm BST. DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s deputy prime minister laid in 

Anglo Irish tapes: Executives deny misleading regulator
BBC News
Dublin is facing calls for an inquiry into its banking collapse following the release of taped conversations between executives at Anglo Irish Bank. The tapes suggest executives knew the scale of the bank’s crisis was much greater than first admitted 

Anglo Irish tapes: ‘Teeth-grinding anger’ in Ireland
BBC News
Executives at Anglo Irish Bank have denied misleading Irish authorities during the 2008 financial crisis, following the release of taped internal phone conversations. The recordings reveal executives discussing the size of a government rescue plan 

Irish bankers ‘taped joking about bailout’
The Australian
In a set of phone calls recorded five years ago, executives at the toxic Anglo Irish Bank laugh about abusing a blanket bank guarantee to beef up the books at the expense of the UK and Germany. One conversation – taped two days after the fateful 

San Jose Mercury News
DUBLIN—Ireland’s parliament will open an investigation into the disastrous bailout of Anglo IrishBank following newly disclosed recordings of telephone calls that show former directors conspiring to conceal the true scale of the bank’s losses, Prime 

Irish opposition calls for bank inquiry after tapes leak
The Star Online
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s opposition called on Monday for a full inquiry into the collapse of the country’s financial system in 2008, after a newspaper published recordings of talks between AngloIrish Bank executives about a bailout. Rescuing 

Irish PM pledges probe into Anglo bank disaster – Live5News.com | Charleston 
Live 5 News
Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez scrambled to energize supporters and mobilize get-out-the-vote efforts in Massachusetts in the hours leading up to Tuesday’s special election to succeed…More >> 

Irish PM Pledges Probe Into Anglo Bank…
ABC News
The internally recorded calls, obtained by the Irish Independent newspaper, document how Anglo officials misled the Central Bank of Ireland that Anglo required only 7 billion euros to prevent its 2008 collapse. Anglo’s losses reached 30 billion euros 

Chinese State, US Billionaire, Irish Tycoon in Telecoms Bid


Come Thursday, we’ll know whether O’Brien’s background impressed the Naypyitaw government more than the stolid, faceless managers of China Mobile.

A woman waits for customers at a “public call office” in Yangon on May 27, 2012. Just a few million out of Myanmar’s 50-plus million population have mobile phones and access to an as-yet extremely limited system

The biggest and most colorful collection of telecommunications companies assembled in years is waiting for the decision bell to ring in Naypyitaw this week on one of the world’s last untapped mobile phone markets.

Twelve international telecom businesses and consortia are on a government shortlist, out of which only two will be awarded contracts to build networks for potentially more than 50 million new telephone customers.

The decision on Thursday will pave the way to propelling Myanmar into the 21st century, at least in telecommunications terms.

Just a few million out of Myanmar’s 50-plus million population have mobile phones and access to an as-yet extremely limited system.

After years of tightly restricted mobile phone ownership through extortionate prices, the government of President U Thein Sein wants wireless telecommunications to be available to up to 80 percent of the population by 2016.

Some of the world’s biggest telephone network companies and some of the most obscure are on the short list, whittled down from about 90 firms.

They are China Mobile Limited and Vodafone Group in a partnership; Singapore Telecommunications; Bharti Airtel of India; MTN from Dubai; the Irish-owned Digicel Group; KDDI Corporation of Japan; Sumitomo Corporation, also from Japan; Malaysia’s Axiata Group; Telenor of Norway; Millicom International Cellular of Luxembourg; Qatar Telecom; and Vietnam’s Viettel Group.

The world’s two biggest mobile phone service operators, China Mobile and Vodafone, have 1.14 billion subscribers globally between them. They have teamed up to make the most powerful bid.

But probably the most colorful is the joint venture put together by the small Digicel, which operates mostly among the small Caribbean islands, although it is owned by an entrepreneur from Ireland.

Digicel’s joint venture partners in the license bid are Quantum Strategic Partners, owned by American billionaire speculator George Soros, and Myanmar’s Yoma Strategic Holdings, owned by noted Rangoon businessman U Serge Pun.

“The challenge for the winners will be recovering the cost of building and maintaining mobile phone networks in one of Asia’s very poorest countries,” said an industry executive with a large Bangkok-based phone company who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Burmese are just about the lowest paid people in the region and so although the price of SIM cards and phones has become more universally affordable in recent months, the unanswered question is how will these people pay for phone services?”

SIM card prices have plummeted dramatically from US $250 just over a year ago to a mere $1.70 today. But they are not yet widely available. About 350,000 cards were issued in April, many on a lottery basis, and similar numbers will be issued in the coming months.

Can the chosen network franchise holders recoup their investment?

“The opportunity is tremendous, but not without risk,” Nomura Securities’ chief of Asian telecoms Sachin Gupta told Bloomberg. “There are 60 million users potentially, but that needs a lot of network investment.”

Other foreign telecommunications companies are waiting in the wings to offer ancillary services once the network licenses are issued.

Avaya of the US, which specializes in video conferencing and data networking, has teamed up with local firm First Myanmar, which is also in U Serge Pun’s business stable.

“We believe that we are uniquely positioned to offer affordable first-class communications to the people of Myanmar and are looking forward to having the opportunity to do so,” Digicel owner Denis O’Brien told the Irish Independent, which he also owns.

Unlike some of the other bidders which have kept a profile as they quietly lobby behind the scenes to promote their credentials to government ministers and officials, Digicel has pursued a high-profile public image in support of their bid.

The Jamaica-based firm, ranked only 65th in customer size in the global telecoms market, has been sponsoring Myanmar sport, promoting brand awareness among people who don’t yet even have a phone, and surveying sites for transmission aerials across the country.

“The low mobile penetration rate in [Myanmar] presents a significant opportunity for telecoms firms, but the Digicel consortium will face some stiff competition for licenses,” commented the Irish Independent newspaper, pointing out that O’Brien’s telecommunications forays into the Caribbean islands in the past 10 years have made his fortune.

Not bad for someone who started out on his business career selling horse medicines for his father.

The Digicel joint venture is up against the might of the world’s biggest mobile phone service operator, China Mobile, a state-owned enterprise with 97 percent of the colossal Chinese market and over 700 million customers. But perhaps the recent backlash against China’s strong business influence in Myanmar will influence bid decision-making.

Come Thursday, we’ll know whether O’Brien’s background impressed the Naypyitaw government more than the stolid, faceless managers of China Mobile.

via Chinese State, US Billionaire, Irish Tycoon in Telecoms Bid | The Irrawaddy Magazine.

Anglo Irish Bank News update as viewed from home and abroad


‘So, [the loan] is bridged, until we can pay you back . . . which is never’

Banker laughs at making repayments and mimics voice of Financial Regulator read full article

irishtimes.com

Anglo Irish bankers ‘tricked’ government into bailout

Telegraph.co.uk
The partial transcripts, published in the Irish Independent newspaper, appeared to show the bank’s then head of capital markets, John Bowe, admitting that Anglo had deliberately hoodwinked the government over the size of the bailout required. Speaking

Irish opposition calls for bank inquiry after tapes leak
Reuters
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s opposition called for a full inquiry into the collapse of Ireland’s financial system on Monday, after a newspaper published recordings of talks between Anglo Irish Bank executives about a bailout. Rescuing indebted banks 

Ireland’s rage over Anglo-Irish rescue revelations is justified – Enda Kenny
The Guardian
Ireland’s prime minister, Enda Kenny, said Irish people were entitled to be angry about revelations that an executive at the firm that almost bankrupted the country boasted he had picked the €7bn (now £6bn) figure purportedly needed to rescue Anglo 
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Irish bankers ‘hoodwinked’ government over bailout, secret recordings show
The Guardian
Taped phone calls between two senior executives at Anglo Irish have compounded suspicions in the Republic that bankers lured the then Fianna Fáil led government during the crash of September 2008 into a costly financial trap by saving the debt-stricken 
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Kenny Faces Irish Bank Inquiry Calls as Anglo Tapes Released
Bloomberg
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny faced growing calls for an inquiry into the collapse of Anglo IrishBank Corp. after the Irish Independent released recordings of talks between executives as the lender sought a bailout. The partial transcripts from 

Tapes expose culture within toxic Irish bank 

Senior figures in the former Anglo Irish Bank, John Bowe and Peter Fitzgerald, were recorded discussing how the toxic lender was seeking a €7 billion rescue fund, but that it needed more. read full article

irishecho.com.au

Irish Government to Push for Banking Inquiry
Wall Street Journal
DUBLIN—The Irish government is determined to implement new laws to help launch the country’s first wide-ranging inquiry into the causes of its banking debt crisis and help assuage “the rage and the anger” of people deeply affected by it, Irish Prime 
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Anglo Irish still offering insight into banks’ crisis
Financial Times
A phone call between two executives at Anglo Irish – just days before Dublin issued a blanket guarantee to its banks in mid-September 2008 – suggests the bank wilfully deceived regulators about its financial health, an allegation that John Bowe, head 
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Finance Minister had ‘no idea Anglo phone recordings existed’

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan had no idea the Anglo tapes existed until he read yesterday’s Irish Independent. read full article

independent.ie

Abuse the bank guarantee, don’t get caught – Drumm

ANGLO Irish Bank boss David Drumm laughed about “abusing” the bank guarantee and warned his executives not to be caught abusing it, the Anglo Tapes reveal. read full article

independent.ie

Former executive John Bowe denies misleading Central Bank

JOHN Bowe says that he “categorically denies” the allegation that he misled the Central Bank or was aware of any strategy to do so. read full article

independent.ie

Bounced into the bank bailout

A recorded conversation between senior officials at former Anglo Irish Bank appears to confirm what the public has long suspected: that the Central Bank and last government were bounced into bailing out the banking system and lacked detailed knowledge of the extent of the crisis. The manner in which this exercise was conducted: through obfuscation, veiled financial threats and political pressure, exposes a clientelist system where power and contacts are paramount and nobody is held to…. read full article

irishtimes.com

Bank inquiry to begin by autumn, say Coalition sources

John Bowe says he deeply regrets tone and language he used in phone call read full article

irishtimes.com

‘Anglo tapes show need for banking inquiry’ – man who wants to run inquiry

Ciarán Lynch, the chair of the Oireachtas finance committee, says the tapes may be “the tip of the iceberg”. read full article

thejournal.ie

 

 

Anglo Irish Bank- News roundup


They gambled all our futures but it was just fun and games for bankers – Independent.ie

 

‘Fun and games, yeah.” The future of the country is being gambled and it’s all just fun and games for the executives in Anglo Irish Bankread full article

independent.ie

Tapes that reveal what really led to national collapse

Fitzgerald asked Bowe how they had arrived at the €7bn figure for the Central Bank. He replied: ‘As Drummer (CEO David Drumm) would say, picked it out of my arse’ read full article

independent.ie

The recording: Key quotes

* Look, c’mere . . . What’s goin’ on?’ read full article

independent.ie

Q&A: What’s in recordings – and why they’re so significant

Q The tapes are fascinating, but at the end of the day, isn’t it just two colleagues having a light-hearted conversation? Why should we care? read full article

independent.ie

Inside Anglo: Listen to the full recordings

Listen to the conversations between Peter Fitzgerald and John Bowe of Anglo Irish Bank. read full article

independent.ie

Two Anglo executives deny misleading Central Bank

The Central Bank was told by Anglo Irish Bank in 2008 that €7 billion in funding was needed to stabilise it – but a senior Anglo executive said to a colleague the true cost would be higher. read full article

rte.ie

Irish News


Support for new party is growing, claims Ganley

A new political party which will contest local and European elections next year is now a real prospect.read full article

independent.ie

Taxpayers lose millions in Enterprise Ireland failures

A state-of-the-art hub of innovation to hothouse start-ups and create tech clusters was the intention: a big white elephant was the reality. read full article

independent.ie

Guerrilla warfare between consumers and retailers triggers feel-bad factor

MAKING ends meet remains the key task facing many Irish households but it seems like a very long time since the main threat to their spending power was coming from spiralling prices. read full article

independent.ie

CIE, Ibec and the wall of silence

LAST week, I rang CIE in search of its chairman, Vivienne Jupp. I was told that the troubled transport company’s chief was not “due until next week”. read full article

independent.ie

TDs plot to force abortion poll vote

In a dramatic twist in the abortion debate, Fine Gael, Labour and independent TDs and senators are proposing to invoke a little-known constitutional provision to force a referendum on t read full article

independent.ie

Quinn Insurance sets €6.5m aside for litigation costs Irish Times The disastrous business, formerly owned by the now-bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn, has already received more than € 1 billion from the Insurance Compensation Fund to help it meet its losses, and expects to have to receive up to € 600 million more to 

Permanent revolution by facebook is replacing ideology

Why are demos and riots breaking out all over? It’s the economy stupid. But Newsnight’s Paul Mason has a contemporary twist, writing in the Independent to give a taster for his book Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions’ Velocity of information matters as much as action itself. It is striking how badly…

read full article

sluggerotoole.com

 

Irish News


IMF: Over 25pc of Irish bank loans bad, modest economic growth
Irish Independent
JUST over a quarter of loans in Irish banks have gone bad with losses persisting, the International Monetary Fund has said. Related Articles. Hopes fade over eurozone deal on €28bn bailout costs. Also in this section. NTMA to raise €500m this week 

Call for compensation for Magdalene survivors
Irish Times
The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said Martin McAleese‘s investigation into the institutions fell short as he did not draw any conclusions on the human rights obligations of the State. The commission called on the Government to stop caring for 

Bad loans at Irish banks hindering new lending – IMF
RTE.ie
Ireland must deal with the large number bad loans which are hindering new lending as it aims for economic and employment growth, according to the International Monetary Fund. Completing its tenth review of Ireland’s bailout programme, which also saw it 

Irish women entitled to celebrate after a 40-year struggle for gender equality

EqPoster Equal statement

Irish Independent These days, girls outperform boys in state and university exams and professional entry competitions. Women compete energetically with men in the modern Irish workforce. Equality legislation helps protect women from gender discrimination. In theory  See all stories on this topic »

Two US presidents on Irish soil at the same time

Irish Independent Search Go. Independent.ie› Irish News›. Two US presidents on Irish soil at the same time. Comments. Email; Print; Font Size. 18 June 2013. For probably the first time in history, there were two US presidents on Irish soil at the same time on the same day. See all stories on this topic »

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Wind farm proposed for Irish Sea will be visible from Rush to Wicklow Town
Irish Times
Wind farm proposed for Irish Sea will be visible from Rush to Wicklow Town. 145 wind turbines are included in the plan. A wind farm on the Arklow Bank in the Irish Sea. The latest €2 billion wind farm project would create 600 jobs at construction phase 
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Technology of Exploitation: Intensifying Workers’ Heartrates to Maximize Capitalist Profits


Tesco accused of using electronic armbands to monitor its staff.

Supermarket grades employees on efficiency and can reprimand them for breaks, says ex-worker

Tesco workers are being made to wear electronic armbands that managers can use to grade how hard they are working.

A former staff member has claimed employees are given marks based on how efficiently they work in a bid to improve productivity and can be called in front of management if they take unscheduled toilet breaks.

The armbands are worn by warehouse staff and forklift drivers, who use them to scan the stock they collect from supermarket distribution points and send it out for delivery. Tesco said the armbands are used to improve efficiency and save its staff from having to carry around pens and paper to keep track of deliveries. But the device is also being used to keep an eye on employees’ work rates, the ex-staff member said.

The former employee said the device provided an order to collect from the warehouse and a set amount of time to complete it. If workers met that target, they were awarded a 100 per cent score, but that would rise to 200 per cent if they worked twice as quickly. The score would fall if they did not meet the target.

If, however, workers did not log a break when they went to the toilet, the score would be “surprisingly lower”, according to the former staff member, who did not want to be named but worked in an Irish branch of Tesco. He said that some would be called before management if they were not deemed to be working hard enough. “The guys who made the scores were sweating buckets and throwing stuff around the place,” he said. He said the devices put staff under huge pressure and many of his colleagues using them in Ireland were eastern Europeans, with limited English. He said lunch breaks did not result in staff being marked down. Tesco confirmed that the devices were also in use across its UK stores.

Tesco in Ireland told the Irish Independent that a “break” function could be used to register genuine stoppages and around 25 minutes had been allowed per day for that. But any other time would be monitored. A Tesco spokesman told The Independent: “Arm-mounted terminals are a working aid and at no time are they used to monitor colleagues while on their breaks. They make it easier for our colleagues to carry out their role as they don’t need to carry paperwork around the distribution centre.”

According to one expert, the laws surrounding surveillance at work give employers a lot of liberty. But Peter Daly, a solicitor at Bindmans LLP, added that firms risked possible lawsuits if employees felt they were being discriminated against.

He said: “There is not a huge problem with surveillance itself as far as the law is concerned, the issue is the data that is taken from it. In principle, there is nothing stopping you watching what your members of staff do; huge numbers of workplaces keep their CCTV footage for a long time, for example.

“With this information, there is a question about how it is stored, what it is stored for and whether people can understand it. If this is personal information, then the subjects are entitled to receive it under the Data Protection Act. Employers should be careful… because it could potentially be disclosed in a discrimination claim.”

Big Brother: Devices for keeping tabs on workers

Driven away

Delivery firms have long used GPS tracking systems to keep track of where their drivers whereabouts in order to help predict delivery times. It is also helpful for making sure the drivers are working as hard as their managers desire, of course. But the drivers have now begun fighting back by jamming the signals.

One report, published yesterday, said that the high rate of GPS jamming incidents during rush hour suggested many of the drivers were finding a way to moonlight away from the electronic eye of their bosses.

A 12-volt jamming device can be bought for as little as £30, according to Techworld – but worryingly, there are concerns that the devices could also block devices used by air traffic.

Heartbroken

When Sam Allardyce took over as manager of an under-performing Newcastle United in 2007, he was viewed as one of football’s most scientifically minded bosses. He soon rigged all of his players up to heart-rate monitors for a pre-season friendly to see who was working hard and who was not. The motivational technique did not appear to work, however. Allardyce was sacked soon afterwards.

Clocking it

An older method for keeping tabs on staff came when the time clock was invented in 1888. The operation is simple: cards bearing employees’ names are inserted into a clocking machine, which timestamps them.

They allow managers to keep an eye on when staff “clock in” and “clock out” and provide one of the most enduring sources of motivation for staff to turn up on time.

Quality control

Staff working in many call centres are constantly monitored for that well-known recorded telephone phrase: “quality and training purposes”. Knowing that a manager may be listening in or checking up on how many calls workers have made may be the motivational push they need.

via Technology of Exploitation: Intensifying Workers’ Heartrates to Maximize Capitalist Profits | Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle.

via Technology of Exploitation: Intensifying Workers’ Heartrates to Maximize Capitalist Profits | Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle.

Your Household Tax Is Going To Good Use.


Ah right, so that explains the urgency around the household tax.

And just in case you forgot what Big Phil said about its introduction back in July:

“It is internationally accepted that local services are administered by local authorities and financed by local service charges. Ireland is now moving along a path to a local and sustainable funding base for local government. Effective local governance requires strong local decision making. This new funding system for local government will continue to allow local authorities to prioritise expenditure to meet locally identified needs as part of the local authority’s budgetary process, making for a more efficient, accountable and effective funding system. This is local democracy in action.”

A wee google around tells me that Thomas Kinsella who tops this poll of self serving, is best known for using his casting vote to nominate Dana for the presidency. Paton who comes in at number 2 on the list, is a cheer leader for that most hopeless of events The Gathering.

The Irish Independent carried an interesting story back in September about how our Councillors are making pigs of themselves at the public trough.

An Irish Independent investigation reveals that our part-time politicians were paid an average of €31,600 each in salary, allowances, expenses and fees for sitting on a range of public bodies. Many of these councillors earned this cash on top of their day jobs.

However, others have made a full-time living out of what is supposed to be a part-time role. A major trawl of financial records held by almost 200 public bodies revealed very high – but legitimate – pay and expense packages claimed by some councillors.

The highest-earning councillor in the country received seven payments totalling €83,000 from five different bodies – his county council and four outside bodies, to which he was nominated by virtue of being a county councillor.

Read more here if you can stomach to.

Great stuff lads, mine is a tripple carvery, a pint and a half one. Make sure you keep the receipt.

via Your Household Tax Is Going To Good Use. : rabble.

via Your Household Tax Is Going To Good Use. : rabble.

Child benefit cut by €10 plus drug fees doubled – The Budget


FAMILIES are facing a €10 cut in child benefit and medical card holders will see a doubling of the charges they pay for prescription drugs in next week’s Budget.

Pensioners are also still in the firing line, with changes to the over-70s medical card and the home package of free TV licence, electricity and telephone allowances still on the table.

Although the pension is safe, the rest of the benefits for the elderly have yet to be decided upon by ministers.

The Cabinet met twice yesterday to work through the health and social-welfare aspects of the budget, with another special meeting tomorrow evening.

Among the swingeing measures to emerge from the discussions are:

* A €10-a-month cut in child benefit, which will drop from €140 to €130.

* A cut to the time for which non-means-tested dole is paid from 12 months to nine months.

* A doubling of the 50 cent charge that medical card holders pay for medicines and other items that they get on prescription from pharmacies, up to a maximum of 10 items per month.

And further details have emerged about the property tax, which will come into effect next year, following yesterday’s revelations of the plan in the Irish Independent.

* Elderly people will be given the chance to pay the property tax on their home from beyond the grave

* People living in council houses are expected to be hit with higher rents – with rises of €1 or €2 a week to bring in €50-€100 a year per house.

The Government has devised a way of protecting old people who live in large houses where they raised their children and who now can’t afford to pay the property tax from their meagre pensions.

Rather than forcing them to borrow or sell their home, elderly people will be able to apply via a means test for a deferral of the property-tax payment. However, there will be a cap on the number of years that can be deferred.

Similar to the Fair Deal nursing-home scheme, the accumulated bill would then be paid when the person sells their house or if they pass away, when their estate would pay it off.

Although local-authority housing will be exempt from the property tax, the occupants will have to make a larger contribution to take account of the charge going to local services.

Those in council estates who bought out their houses will have to pay the full property tax anyway, so the Government wants to see every home make a contribution.

The property-tax rate will be at 0.2pc in a self-assessment system, with bands starting at €50,000 and going up by €50,000 each time.

There is no cap on the market value of the home, so millionaires living in mansions will pay the same percentage on the total value of their house.

Someone living in a house worth €100,000 will pay up to €200, while someone living in a house worth €1m will pay up to €2,000.

The amount of tax to be paid is set at the mid-point of the bands. For instance, where the value of the house falls anywhere within the band of €100,000 to €150,000, the homeowner will pay on 0.2pc of €125,000 i.e. €250.

A special meeting of the Cabinet yesterday saw the detail of the health and social-welfare budgets thrashed out.

Any changes to the medical-card system are not yet signed off. But the over-70s are being closely examined, especially the means-testing threshold of €72,000 for a married couple and €36,000 for a single person.

Pensioners

A move towards a GP-only card is being examined for those on healthy pensions. The pension will not be cut and the free travel scheme is not expected to be touched. But a cut to the package of free TV licence, electricity and phone is still alive.

There will be a change to the entitlement to the dole. When someone becomes unemployed, they go onto the non-means tested dole, unemployment benefit, of €188 a week.

After 12 months, they move to the means-tested payment of the same amount. However, if another member of their family is working, this can put them over the means-test limit.

This period will be cut back to nine months to encourage people to get back to work.

But Labour Party sources believe this will not have a major effect on its policy not to cut welfare benefits. Party figures claim it is not a direct cut to a core social welfare payment.

– Fionnan Sheahan and Fiach Kelly

via Child benefit cut by €10 plus drug fees doubled – The Budget, National News – Independent.ie.

via Child benefit cut by €10 plus drug fees doubled – The Budget, National News – Independent.ie.

Irishman lost 280lbs and goes from suicidal to marathon runner in just one year


A Dublin man plans to run the Dublin City Marathon after losing 280 pounds in the past year. A year ago he weighed more than 490 pounds and now is training for the Marathon on Monday, October 29.

During his teenage years, Eric Russell was a tall and naturally broad promising rugby player. After the death of his grandmother and marital problems between his parents, Russell lost interest in sports and had spells of depression. He began to comfort eat. After he completed school, his career as a plumber was successful for a couple of years. When the business fell on hard times he began to drink heavily and binge eat and he became reclusive and depressed.

He told the Irish Independent, “Last Christmas I got very depressed and two days before New Year’s I decided I was going to commit suicide. I had the rope around my neck when I said to myself ‘Either kill yourself now or do something about this.’ So I took the rope off and decided to change.”

He started slowly by walking and giving up alcohol just before St. Patrick’s Day. He said, “When I raised my glass and said this is my last pint, the people round me in the pub laughed.”

Russell is still alcohol free eight months since his decision. With encouragement from his brother, he then joined a gym and started training. In June he decided to run the Dublin City Marathon and has been working with personal trainer Kane Kearns in RAW gym to prepare for it. Russell has also combated his depression; he is taking a six week course with Aware and has a strong Christian faith.

“I started to believe in myself. I kept track of what I ate and began to lose more weight. I began to get compliments about how I looked.”

Russell is running in the Dublin City Marathon to support the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, an organization which provides information, support, and counselling for men and women whose lives have been affected by sexual violence. Last year the organization helped 12,000 people. He has raised 170 euros towards his target of 1,000 euros.

Russell plans to keep making changes after the Dublin Marathon. Next summer he hopes to participate in the 2,000km Camino de Santiago Walk through France and Spain. He hopes to reach his target weight of 252 pounds. He says, “After conquering my demons I feel like this is my time to shine.”

via Irishman lost 280lbs and goes from suicidal to marathon runner in just one year | Irish News and Politics spanning the US, Ireland and the World | IrishCentral.

via Irishman lost 280lbs and goes from suicidal to marathon runner in just one year | Irish News and Politics spanning the US, Ireland and the World | IrishCentral.

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