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Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 18, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Nov 18, 2014 - 11:17 AM

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Irish Independent

Shares in AIB have fallen by almost a fifth today to 7.2 cents each. Together with yesterday’s sharp fall it means around €16bn of notional value has been wiped out since yesterday afternoon.

On Monday the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan warned that shares in the bank were overvalued by the markets – prompting the sell off.

The minister will bring forward plans by the end of the year setting out the route to reprivatisation of AIB.

A LIQUIDATOR has claimed two directors of a building company are personally liable for €7m from the sale of flats allegedly wrongly used to discharge personal debts to Danske Bank.

Liquidator Aidan Garcia also alleges that Danske Bank "manipulated" the finances of Panshire to its own advantage and to the disadvantage of the Revenue, owed €2.2m in unpaid VAT, and other trade creditors owed €1.2m.

Mr Garcia claims the "delinquent" manner in which the company was operated with regard to the Revenue was discussed at a meeting in November 2012 and he became aware about the bank's "very material" role when a bank official told him he had "another way of getting around the VAT".

An anonymous group hacked an email account of a respected businessman in a bid to allege that photographs published by Independent News & Media of the aftermath of a protest in Dublin on Saturday evening were fake.

A number of journalists and business representatives received an email on Saturday evening alleging pictures taken in the aftermath of an anti water charges protests in Jobstown, Tallaght, were fake. The email was sent to their private addresses.

The series of photographs, which were taken by award winning Sunday Independent photographer Tony Gavin, were published on Independent.ie on Saturday evening.

The images captured a youth throwing a brick at a garda car.

Irish Times

Amid the furore about water charges, it’s worth remembering that the payment date for property tax is also fast approaching.

The good news this year is that residents living in 14 local authorities across the State will see their property tax fall, thanks to a reduction ranging from 1.5 per cent to 15 per cent.

The bad news – apart from the fact that you have to pay the tax of course – is that the revaluation date of November 1st, 2016 is looming ever closer on the horizon.

In fact, the main “achievement” of the reform was to freeze German wages, which over the 2000-2007 period grew well below the euro zone average and the currency union’s inflation target of 2 per cent, allowing the country to achieve a competitive advantage vis-a-vis its European commercial partners, especially those of the periphery. This effectively amounted to an aggressive beggar-thy- neighbour strategy on Germany’s part.

Germany was able to acquire such a massive surplus because other countries were not following the same policy of wage constraint. These other countries were sustaining internal demand (through credit booms in some cases) and providing Germany with an export market, increasing their trade deficit.

In a currency union with a high level of internal trade, the surpluses of some countries are necessarily mirrored by the deficits of others. Or, more accurately, the former are dependent on the latter.

While he is currently engaged in a row with Sinn Féin, there are few in the 31st Dáil who have been spared the sharp tongue and sometimes short temper of Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett.

The most accurate and fair description of Barrett, a Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, would probably be that he is an equal opportunities grump.

At various stages during his three-and-a-half-year term, he has fought with the Government, Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and the Independents.

Irish Examiner

The Government created a democratic vacuum and can hardly ascend to the heights of righteous indignation when others take advantage, writes Michael Clifford

THINGS here are dark, to put it brightly, with apologies to Mr Beckett. In the last week basic standards of democracy have plummeted. The leader of Sinn Féin has stated that he has no confidence in the Ceann Comhairle. The deputy leader of Sinn Féin has staged a sit-in in the lower house of parliament, claiming that she is being treated unfairly. The actions of both Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald appear, on the face of it, to be laced with cynicism.

But would they have got away with it at any other time? Are their actions occurring in a vacuum where the Government has abdicated any moral authority, not necessarily by its policies, but through its conduct? Beyond the citadel of parliamentary politics, things have turned ugly. Last Saturday, Joan Burton was prevented from going about her business in west Tallaght. She was assaulted with a water balloon, effectively held hostage for more than two hours and intimidated as she sat in her car. She was verbally abused in a sexist manner.

Europe

Euro Topics: G20 summit holds to austerity: The G20 states have set themselves the goal of 2.1 percent growth by 2018. The left-liberal Italian daily La Repubblica is unhappy that the world's most powerful economies still haven't put austerity behind them: "No, Barack Obama has not broken Angela Merkel's resistance. The summit is not the beginning of the end of austerity. ... Admittedly, the agreed investments in infrastructural projects also include Jean-Claude Juncker's 300-billion EU investment package. But this doesn't mean the member states have decided to exceed the budget constraints - for example the three percent deficit limit. And it also doesn't mean that Berlin has decided to boost internal demand through public investments in infrastructure projects."

G20 growth goals completely unrealistic: In their final agreement at the Brisbane summit the G20 states on Sunday agreed on reform measures aimed at achieving growth of 2.1 percent by 2018. But you can't bring about growth by decree, Thomas Fuster writes in the liberal Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung: "It's naive to think that national governments will suddenly adjust their fiscal and growth policies to global requirements. Political responsibilities are geared towards voters in the home country. Consequently Germany will only spend more money if it aids the survival of the Berlin coalition, not the attainment of a vague two percent goal at the international level. Even in China where the government doesn't have to subject itself to the struggles of popular elections, economic policy is first and foremost geared to domestic parameters. And in any event economic multilateralism isn't highly regarded these days. This is amply demonstrated by the continued paralysis of the World Trade Organisation."

Fundamental criticism of Podemos little help: Spain's new Left party Podemos elected the MEP Pablo Iglesias as its secretary general in an online vote on Saturday. In his inaugural address Iglesias criticised the current constitution without naming concrete goals of his own, the left-liberal Spanish daily El País writes in annoyance: "Podemos attacks the very foundations of the system without explaining what it plans to set up in its place. This raises questions regarding the leaders of a party that according to the polls will play a key role on the political stage. ... Large sections of society clearly want change now because the crisis has given the impression that many citizens no longer have any power to influence political decisions. The economic and social crisis has become the crisis of a political system plagued by systematic corruption. ... But we mustn't confuse the desire to reform the system with the desire to destroy it."


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