Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - September 05, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Sep 5, 2014 - 9:38 AM

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Irish Independent

A brand new national school has opened in an area of rapid population growth, but it has only one pupil.

The Department of Education insists that there are enough children in the area to justify the new Scoil Aoife in west Tallaght, Co Dublin.

When fully developed, the plan is for the school to have 16 classrooms with a capacity to cater for in the region of 440 pupils. But as the new term gets underway this week, principal Stacey McAuley has only one pupil - a girl in junior infants' class.

Scoil Aoife is one of a number of new schools approved for this part of south Dublin in recent years to cope with the expanding population.

Commenting on the school's unusual situation, Ms McAuley said by the time Scoil Aoife was announced "a lot of people had registered their children elsewhere but there is a lot of interest in the area.

European stocks dipped early on Friday, pausing after the previous day's sharp rally spurred by an interest rate cut from the European Central Bank which also launched new measures to support the euro zone economy.

In early trade, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.1pc at 1,399.68 points, retreating from a 6-1/2 year high hit in the previous session.

The euro nursed hefty losses, having suffered its biggest one-day fall in nearly three years against the greenback after the European Central Bank delivered a fresh round of stimulus and promised even more if needed.

The common currency slumped over 1 percent against most of its major peers and notched a 1.6 percent drop on the dollar - the biggest one-day decline since November 2011.

The ECB cut interest rates to fresh record lows and announced plans to buy asset-backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds in October.

The Government has expressed serious concern about a US court order for Microsoft to hand over emails held on servers in Ireland to US prosecutors, saying it would create significant legal uncertainty about data protection in Europe.

Last week, a US judge lifted a suspension on her order directing Microsoft to turn over a customer's emails, but the software company said it would not release any emails while it appeals the ruling.

Dublin is a major host of data servers, including a massive complex in west Dublin that belongs to Microsoft.

Data Protection Minister Dara Murphy said the Government would be open to a request for the emails under the 2001 Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which governs the transfer of information in criminal cases.

Irish Times

Ireland’s plan to repay its IMF loans early is facing resistance from the European Central Bank amid continuing concerns that last year’s promissory note deal was bordering on monetary financing.

In a setback to the Government’s bid to secure political agreement for the early repayment of the IMF portion of the bailout, ECB chief Mario Draghi indicated yesterday that concerns remained about the promissory note deal.

Asked about his views on Ireland’s bid to repay the IMF portion of its bailout loans following the ECB governing council meeting in Frankfurt yesterday, he said that the bank “took note” of the plan adding that the bank will monitor “very, very closely what is being done with the sale of assets so that we call monetary financing concerns are being properly and significantly addressed”.

Irish two-year notes advanced, pushing the yield below zero for the first time, as investors awaited growth data that economists said will show the euro area will need more support from the European Central Bank.

Italian and Irish 10-year bond yields dropped to record lows after the ECB yesterday cut its key interest rate and signaled at least €700 billion of aid to support the flagging euro-zone economy.

Ireland’s two-year yield fell two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 0.004 per cent at 8:40am time after dropping to as low as minus 0.004 per cent, the least since Bloomberg began collecting the data in 2003. The 4.6 per cent note due April 2016 rose 0.015, or 15 euro cents per 1,000-euro face amount, to 107.365.

Apple is planning additional steps to keep hackers out of user accounts in the face of the recent celebrity photo scandal and will aggressively encourage users to take stricter security measures, chief executive Tim Cook has told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Apple will alert users through email and push notifications when someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device, or when a device logs into an account for the first time, the report said.

Apple is moving quickly to restore confidence in its systems’ security ahead of the crucial launch of its new iPhone next week.

Irish Examiner

Irish households became marginally better off during the first quarter of this year, according to new figures from the Central Bank.

According to the bank’s latest set of quarterly financial accounts, published yesterday, household net worth increased by 0.9% during the first three months of the year; marking the seventh consecutive quarterly increase. At the end of March, net worth stood at €508.5bn, or €110,312 per capita.

“Increases in household financial assets and the continued reduction in household liabilities contributed towards the rise in net worth during the quarter,” the Central Bank said in a statement.


Euro Topics: Poland soon to be ruled by an iron lady: The leadership of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's Civic Platform (PO) party announced on Wednesday that it is backing 57-year-old parliamentary speaker Ewa Kopacz to succeed Tusk. President Bronisław Komorowski has yet to give his approval. Kopacz is an iron lady, the left-liberal news portal Polityka Online comments: "We've known her long enough to be aware that everything she does, she does with courage and doggedness - many politicians lack this. ... And when she starts something she carries it through to the end. But it can also be negative because the new prime minister isn't particularly sensitive to other people's arguments. This became clear when she was health minister. She wanted to push through projects that didn't always turn out to be good later, including the attempt to privatise the hospitals."

Hungary better off as an illiberal state: Hungary's right-wing conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was severely criticised for saying in a recent speech that his aim was to establish an "illiberal state". The conservative daily Magyar Nemzet defends the idea, arguing that in the last decade authoritarian states like Turkey, Russia and China have developed much faster than the EU member Hungary: "Just take a look at the figures! And at how high our per capita GDP was when we entered the EU in 2004 and what it is now. ... In 2004 it stood at 10,085 dollars, in 2012 it was 12,560 dollars. ... In comparison Turkey's 2004 pro capita GDP was at 5,867 dollars, and in 2013 it stood at 10,946 dollars, almost twice that amount! Russia's tripled, from 4,109 dollars in 2004 to 14,612 in 2013. To say nothing of China, where it quadrupled in the same period."

International aid can defeat Ebola: According to the World Health Organisation more than 1,900 people have already died since the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and around 3,500 are currently infected. The world has looked away for too long, the state broadcaster Deutschlandfunk comments: "Only when two American doctors and a Spanish priest got sick months after the epidemic started did the virus make the headlines. ... Basically it's clear what is needed: more materials and more medical staff. If the international will to help is there, Ebola can be defeated in West Africa. Not immediately, but in a few months. ... The rapid spread in West Africa shows that the healthcare system there is completely inadequate. Offering support there and ensuring that this support really reaches the people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will be the next, difficult task."

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