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Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - September 23, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Sep 23, 2014 - 8:32 AM

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Irish Independent

An Irish J1 student accused of being in the San Francisco property when it was thrashed said the damage was caused when a party “got out of control”.

The university student apologised to landlady Ritu Vohra and offered to pay for damages to her home in the Sunset District.

Ritu Vohra said “tens of thousands” of dollars worth of damage was caused to her home while it was rented out to seven Irish students for the summer.

But it has emerged up to 14 people - whose identities are known - were living at her home to cover the €5,000 a month rent.

TWO ministers have strongly signalled that Government will not take the advice of its own economic watchdog body to push ahead with €2bn worth of cutbacks in the Budget.

The Fiscal Advisory Council (FAC), specially set up by the Fine Gael-Labour Coalition to provide independent advice aimed at keeping a break on public spending, yesterday advised the Government to stick with its original course in the Budget which will be presented three weeks from today.

The advisory council warned that, despite recent encouraging trends, the economy remained vulnerable and risked returning to a "boom-and-bust cycle" and strongly warned against any premature easing up on cuts and taxation.

Intel has been granted a discounted tax rate of 5pc and $300m (€233m) by the Israeli government in exchange for developing its chip manufacturing facility there.

The move comes as Intel, which employs 5,000 people in Leixlip and up to 5,000 additional construction workers at present, anticipates the completion of a €3.6bn upgrade to its Irish manufacturing site.

Last month, the company revealed that it will produce cutting edge 14 nanometre chips in Ireland, which are set to be branded as 'Core M' processors for use in the next generation of laptops and mobile devices.

Ireland and Israel have been competing for Intel's long-term investment funding.

"Without this grant, Intel would have carried out this large investment in other places, such as in Ireland or the US, where the red carpet had already been rolled out for it," said Naftali Bennett, Israel's economic minister. "This is the biggest investment in the country's history."

Irish Times

Dublin homeowners, the State’s biggest payers of local property tax, will have their bills cut next year, following the decision of councillors in three local authorities to lower the tax by 15 per cent.

Dublin city councillors last night voted for the cut, despite warnings from chief executive Owen Keegan that the decision could hit homeless services.

South Dublin County Council also voted yesterday to reduce next year’s local property tax rate by 15 per cent.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council voted unanimously last night to reduce the tax by 15 per cent. Fingal Council meets today.

Wealthy Dublin couple John and Bernie Gallagher, who made a fortune from the sale of Jurys Doyle hotels before the property crash, have acquired the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in the south Dublin Docklands.

The couple paid in the region of €28 million for what is Ireland’s largest theatre, outbidding Live Nation who run the venue, Denis Desmond’s MCD, the Ambassador Theatre Group in the UK, Dublin-based New Beginnings and several private investors.

Agents CBRE, who handled the sale, said Crownway Entertainment – a division of Crownway Investments which is owned by the Gallaghers – had been selected as the preferred bidder for the theatre.

The selling price is a long way short of the €80 million spent on developing and launching the venue in 2010. Earlier this summer Nama appointed receivers Grant Thornton to the theatre-owning company controlled by businessman Harry Crosbie. The original funding was provided by AIB.

The Obama administration has begun a crackdown designed to curb tax avoidance by US companies moving to low-tax countries with new rules aimed at stemming the pace of “corporate inversions”.

The changes will likely have implications for Ireland, making it less attractive for American firms considering inversions into Irish companies, a practice that has drawn sharp criticism from president Barack Obama.

For some companies considering inversions, the rules will mean that they “no longer make economic sense,” the US Treasury said.

Irish Examiner

The ECB may release documents including a missing letter relating to Ireland’s bailout once the bank stress tests are finalised, according to a source.

The bank will also investigate whether it could purchase the €50bn worth of tracker mortgages from Irish banks as part of its asset-backed securities purchase scheme.

However, they could be considered as more risky and the ECB could require the State to guarantee them against default — and that may not be an option.

ECB president Mario Draghi said the bank’s governing council will consider this and the issue of whether the bank should give evidence to the bank inquiry.

MEP Brian Hayes asked Mr Draghi for his opinion on what the ECB will do to facilitate the long-awaited inquiry, especially in light of his predecessor Jean Claude Trichet telling Irish media last year that he would not attend any such hearing.

Europe

Euro Topics: German motor must pull Eurozone ahead: At the G20 finance meetings in the Australian city of Cairns, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble advocated continuing the austerity policy. Yet Germany must nonetheless take measures to stimulate its own economy, the conservative daily La Vanguardia observes: "The German finance minister is right to say the goal is a healthy economy geared towards stability. ... But this can't distract from the fact that this major euro country, which is the world's fourth biggest economic power in its own right, is morally and economically obliged to function as the motor of the Eurozone by boosting its investments and ensuring internal growth. In this way Germany would contribute to the rebalancing of the group of euro countries as a whole. At the same time the individual states must undertake to carry out the necessary reforms."

Danes don't want any more refugees: The Danish government announced stiffer asylum practices last week. Applications are to be processed faster and rejected applicants deported to safe home countries more rapidly. For the liberal-conservative daily Jyllands-Posten these measures are utterly inadequate given that refugee figures climbed to 14,000 in Denmark this year: "The hope in the red block [of the centre-left government] that the debate about foreigners will disappear of its own accord and play no role in the election campaign was nothing but wishful thinking. How often have the commentators on Danmark's Radio and the government politicians reinforced the myth that the Danes really don't want to discuss refugees and immigrants any more. But they do. ... The Danes don't want a Swedish state of affairs and are basically making an emergency call to the government: there are limits to what Denmark, as a small country, can afford."

AKP government must finally act: The flight of more than 100,000 Syrian refugees to Turkey within two days and the IS's seizure of a number of Kurdish villages near the Turkish border will finally force the Turkish government to act, the liberal Turkish internet paper T24 comments: "Up to now the AKP government had always pointed to 'sensitivities' when it came to joining the international coalition against the IS. After all, 49 hostages were in the IS's hands. But this 'sensitivity' no longer exists. We will see whether Turkey shows a different face now. ... The AKP government bears a major responsibility to prevent further human tragedies on our borders and stop the region becoming even less governable. If the AKP wants to solve the Kurdish problem and be an influential force in the Middle East, it must face up to its own policy. And to do that it must give up its polarising internal policy and the imperialist dreams and arrogant language of its external policy."


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