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Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a leader of the far left who made common cause with the Communists in this year's French presidential election, was the wealthiest candidate of the leading candidates while Emmanuel Macron with a new political party defied conventional wisdom and became the youngest leader of France since the 30-year old Napoléon Bonaparte seized power in a coup d'état in 1799.

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In 2016 European Union economic growth exceeded that of the United States and this year the recovery continues while UK and US growth remain weak. In a dramatic signal of rising public confidence , a majority of Europeans say they are optimistic about the future of the EU and more than two-thirds identify themselves as EU citizens, according to a Eurobarometer survey of more than 33,000 people across the union and in candidate countries.

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In 1992 'Industrial Training in Ireland,' an official report authored by Dr Frank Roche and the late Paul Tansey, concluded that Ireland was a poor trainer — both the State and the business sectors — and there was an urgent need to radically upgrade the skill base of the workforce. In the quarter century since then not much has changed and a July 2017 paper from the Department of Public Expenditure (PER) shows that the cost of public outlays on training and further education was €1.7bn in 2016.

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Exchange rate changes have put the cost of living in Dublin at the same level as London's while data last month from Eurostat show Irish prices for a broad cross-section of consumer goods and services were the second highest in the European Union (EU), coming in at 125% of the average of the 28 member countries in 2016. With the exception of consumer electronics, Ireland was above the EU average for all the price categories surveyed.

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If Ireland had maintained its independent currency, and operated on the international currency markets much as the Danish and Swedish authorities do with their kroner, the value of the punt would have fallen to reflect Ireland's links with the UK and the economic reality of Ireland's trading relations. The country is still vulnerable to destructive currency swings, something it has no control over.

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Brexit: The UK is the most globalized big economy in the world and despite the disastrous general election results for the Conservative Party, it's unlikely that exit negotiations with the European Union will result in unimpeded access to the world's biggest trading market — John Redwood, a Eurosceptic Tory MP, said last Friday that both Labour and the Conservatives had ruled out staying in the single market. "We were honest with the British people and there is no option to stay in the single market without accepting all of the European laws, the superiority of the European Court of Justice, the freedom of movement and the budget contributions," he said.

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The law can be an ass (i.e. a donkey), badly applied/ administered or inconsistently applied — in effect on an à la carte basis. The acquittal on Tuesday of Seán FitzPatrick, former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, of all 27 charges of breaches of Irish company law, exposes the State's corporate watchdog, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), as seeking to frame a case against him rather than "investigate the case independently and impartially" in the words of Judge John Aylmer.

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Irish Economy View All

10
Aug
2017
25
Jul
2017

In 1992 'Industrial Training in Ireland,' an official report authored by Dr Frank Roche and the late Paul Tansey, concluded that Ireland was a poor trainer — both the State and the business sectors — and there was an urgent need to radically upgrade the skill base of the workforce. In the quarter century since then not much has changed and a July 2017 paper from the Department of Public Expenditure (PER) shows that the cost of public outlays on training and further education was €1.7bn in 2016.

Read more

21
Jul
2017

Exchange rate changes have put the cost of living in Dublin at the same level as London's while data last month from Eurostat show Irish prices for a broad cross-section of consumer goods and services were the second highest in the European Union (EU), coming in at 125% of the average of the 28 member countries in 2016. With the exception of consumer electronics, Ireland was above the EU average for all the price categories surveyed.

Read more

Europe View All

17
Aug
2017

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a leader of the far left who made common cause with the Communists in this year's French presidential election, was the wealthiest candidate of the leading candidates while Emmanuel Macron with a new political party defied conventional wisdom and became the youngest leader of France since the 30-year old Napoléon Bonaparte seized power in a coup d'état in 1799.

Read more

3
Aug
2017

In 2016 European Union economic growth exceeded that of the United States and this year the recovery continues while UK and US growth remain weak. In a dramatic signal of rising public confidence , a majority of Europeans say they are optimistic about the future of the EU and more than two-thirds identify themselves as EU citizens, according to a Eurobarometer survey of more than 33,000 people across the union and in candidate countries.

Read more

5
Jul
2017

If Ireland had maintained its independent currency, and operated on the international currency markets much as the Danish and Swedish authorities do with their kroner, the value of the punt would have fallen to reflect Ireland's links with the UK and the economic reality of Ireland's trading relations. The country is still vulnerable to destructive currency swings, something it has no control over.

Read more

Global View All

18
May
2017

The 2016 Democracy Index, published this year by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) — a sister company of the Economist — shows that almost one-half of the world's countries can be considered to be democracies of some sort, but the number of "full democracies" has fallen from 20 in 2015 to 19 in 2016. Ireland has a joint ranking of 6 while the US has been downgraded from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy" because of a further erosion of trust in government and elected officials there.

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14
Mar
2017

On Monday the US Congressional Budget Office report on Trumpcare — the replacement for the health insurance system that the Obama Administration proposed for Americans without employer provided health insurance — estimated 14 million people losing insurance in the first year 2018 and 24 million by 2016, with premiums soaring for older, lower-income Americans. The CBO says Trumpcare would cut the annual budget deficit about $30 billion a year in a $19 trillion economy.

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24
Jan
2017

Innovation View All

24
Feb
2017

The words 'entrepreneurship' and 'entrepreneur' are used by policy makers and the media to describe business enterprise founders while the stars in particular in the high tech sector are seen as risk takers who have bet big on what may have once been seen as implausible ideas. Here our main focus is on employer firms in all sectors with at least one employee and data from the United States show that since 1977 the rate of new employer business formation (before accounting for firm deaths) has halved to about 8% — similar to firm birth rates  in Europe (2015) and Ireland (2016). The number of entrepreneurs is down from both the years 2000 and 2007 (the latter year was the last before the onset of the Great Recession).

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16
Dec
2016

High-growth firms (HGFs) are not typically high-tech firms, just as the word 'startup' may not refer to a new tech company despite the common misusage in the lexicons of politics, business and journalism. Policy makers also need to be aware that rapid growth of HGFs is typically not sustained.

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2
Dec
2016