FORMER Fianna Fail junior minister Ivor Callely has been ordered
to repay loans totalling €11m related to a disastrous property investment.
If he fails to repay the debt, the controversial former poll-topping TD could
face financial ruin and even the prospect of bankruptcy.
Mr Callely consented to a High Court judgment being entered against him by the
Irish branch of Investec Bank – which means he accepts that he is liable for the
money owed but does not necessarily mean he has the means to repay the debt.
Securing a judgment is the first step lenders take to force a borrower to repay
money owed. Failure by a borrower to act following a judgment can ultimately
lead to bankruptcy.
The Irish branch of Investec Bank brought High Court proceedings against Mr
Callely, with an address at St Lawrence's Road, Clontarf, Dublin, arising from a
March 2007 loan agreement.
BUSINESS confidence is on the increase, with two reports
highlighting the growing perception among owners and managers of an economic
A survey of chief executives of big companies by PwC shows they are more
confident now than at any time since 2007. More than half of all executives
expect their revenue to grow this year.
Even among the usually more cautious small firms sector, confidence grew
steadily during the second quarter, with businesses now more optimistic than at
any stage in the past year.
A new Europe-wide geographic study shows that
Ireland's urban/rural split is the most extreme anywhere across the continent.
Nowhere else in Europe is so overwhelmingly
rural, according to the report from the European statistics agency Eurostat.
This matters because the report highlights the
huge divergence in economic output between urban and rural areas.
In the case of Ireland that is not just a
question of development around industry, it also works the other way.
Investment by multi- nationals is running at a
high but new jobs tend to be focused on a zone of investment within an hour's
drive, or less, of Dublin.
BUSINESS chiefs have taken the rare step of issuing a joint
statement with trade unionists demanding action from the Government on pensions.
It comes after it emerged last week that many bust pension schemes missed a
deadline earlier this month to plug deficits, with seven out of 10 defined
benefit schemes in trouble.
A statement from IBEC, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and the Irish
Association of Pensions Funds said the Government could no longer ignore the
"Nearly 65,000 employees have been affected by the cessation of more than 400
defined benefit schemes since the end of 2008," they said.
"We expect scheme closures to continue. Many of these could be prevented if the
Government now takes action."
Householders who fail to pay new water charges face having their
water pressure reduced, under new measures approved by the Government.
The cost of water charges has yet to be formally agreed, but informed sources
indicate the cost to an average household will be in the region of between €100
and €300 a year.
In addition, new legislation will provide that unpaid water charges may be made
against a householder’s property.
The measures are contained in new legislation, the Water Services (No 2) Bill,
approved by the Cabinet last week. It is due to be published over the coming
While householders who fail to pay will not be disconnected, Irish Water – the
new body responsible for water supply – will have the power to reduce the water
pressure of any customer who consistently refuses to pay.
Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has said he
will consider whether to participate in any official banking inquiry when its
terms of reference are known and he has sought legal advice.
Mr Drumm again made no commitment to return to Ireland from the United States to
answer questions from investigators examining various matters in the run-up to
the collapse of the bank.
“I live and work in the United States and I have a family to support,” he said.
Mr Drumm claimed he had “not hidden from my role as CEO of Anglo during the
liquidity crisis”, but he stopped short of saying that he would participate in a
Former Irish Life and Permanent chief executive Denis Casey has
said he is “not at all surprised” by David Drumm’s “intemperate tirade” about
him in the latest extracts to be published from the Anglo Irish Bank private
taped telephone conversations dating back to September 2008.
Mr Drumm, Anglo’s chief executive, is heard telling the bank’s head of capital
markets, John Bowe, on the telephone call that Irish Life and Permanent’s
“f**king chief executive was non-receptive” to Mr Drumm’s idea of a proposed
merger of the two institutions as a solution to Anglo’s growing financial
“Insulting language was the stock-in-trade of the Anglo executives,” said Mr
Casey in response to the telephone conversation, details of which were published
in last weekend’s Sunday Independent...Mr Casey said
his affidavit unequivocally states that the support provided by Irish Life to
Anglo arose solely as a result of a request by the Central Bank and Financial
Regulator that Irish Life participate in a “green jersey agenda” to protect the
stability of the Irish financial system as the crisis deepened.
The euro zone must take coordinated action to revive economic
growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said last night in a strongly
worded statement that cited the need to repair bank balance sheets, advance a
banking union and support demand.
“Growth remains weak and unemployment is at a record high. Concerted policy
actions to restore financial sector health and complete the banking union are
essential,” the IMF said in a regular assessment of the currency bloc’s economy.
“The centrifugal forces across the euro area remain serious and are pulling down
growth everywhere,” it said in a statement.
The euro zone economy has been battered by a severe sovereign debt crisis that
has required massive bailouts of several of its smaller members, with Greece
securing a €6.8 billion lifeline yesterday.
Michael Dell won support from Institutional
Shareholder Services (ISS) for the $24.4bn (€19bn) buyout of his company, a
surprise endorsement from an influential shareholder adviser.
Dell and Silver Lake Management’s buyout plan
would shelter shareholders from risks tied to the deteriorating personal-
computer business, ISS said yesterday.
Ireland is a small and very open economy.
Its large external trade component in particular
means that data can quite often give confusing signals about the state of the
Recent releases show it is very important to drill down into the figures to find
out exactly what is going on. One should also use a broad range of indicators in
assessing the state of the economy.
Recent national accounts data have been particularly confusing. They show that,
on a GDP basis, the economy contracted in four of the last five quarters and is
back in recession. However, on a GNP basis, the economy expanded in four of the
last five quarters, and is now growing quite robustly. Which of these is
There is no doubt that the economy lost momentum over the course of 2012 and
into the first quarter of this year as a result of a marked fall-off in export
growth. Thus, the GDP figures are correct in pointing to a slowdown in growth.
However, they don’t take into account that profit repatriations also declined.
Presseurop: Too often we forget that belonging to
the EU enabled countries like Spain and Italy to develop economically, while
setting aside their old colonial aspirations. And this should also influence how
we see the future of Union, argues a Dutch political scientist.
“Africa begins at the Pyrenees”: the aphorism
often attributed to Alexandre Dumas, which was more recently used in 1959 by
Albert Camus, has always horrified the Spanish. If there is one continent with
which they do not want to be associated, it is Africa.
writes in the Dutch daily Volkskrant: In fact, as early as 1898, the
year in which Cuba became independent, it was clear that Spain was no longer an
empire. For many years thereafter, the Spanish still wondered if Spain could
remain culturally dominant in Latin America. Under Franco, the political elite
believed that Spain could still impose its authority as a major power, but with
the death of Franco in 1975, the illusion of a Spanish world empire also passed
The EU-US trade talks, which begin in
Washington on July 8, could unlock tens of billions of euros worth of savings
and cut away needless bureaucracy. But a lack of trust
after the recent US eavesdropping scandal is only the first of many hurdles to
writes in The Daily Telegraph: Washington DC is not a city that lacks for
bureaucrats. This week there will be even more of them than usual. The US
capital is about to play host to the first round of the bilateral trade talks
between America and the European Union, a sweeping set of negotiations, the
ultimate aim of which is to reduce the obstacles to the two economic blocs doing
business with each other.
Euro Topics: The Salafists in Egypt have
blocked the government formation process and rejected two candidates for the
office of interim prime minister. Dozens of people have been killed and over
1,000 wounded in clashes between supporters and opponents of ex-president
Mohammed Morsi. Commentators warn against excluding the Islamists from political
participation and fear a civil war like that in Algeria twenty years ago.
Morsi's ousting by the army will set a dangerous precedent, the liberal
weekly business magazine The Economist fears: "It will encourage the
disaffected to try to eject governments not by voting them out but by disrupting
their rule. It will create an incentive for oppositions all over the Arab world
to pursue their agendas on the streets, not in parliaments....It also sends a
dreadful message to Islamists everywhere. The conclusion they will draw from
events in Egypt is that, if they win power in elections, their opponents will
use non-democratic means to oust them. So if they are allowed to come to office,
they will very likely do their damnedest to cement their power by fair means or
In the current unclear situation in Egypt all parties are simply trying to
secure their privileges, the liberal German daily Tagesspiegel criticises:
"Egypt's middle class has practically no public spirit. Most of them have no
sense whatsoever of what a slave-owning society has existed around them for
decades. More than half the population is uneducated and extremely poor. The
school systems are run-down and totally overloaded because many of the rich
hardly pay any taxes and put their money into private schools and universities
for their own children instead. And Egypt's middle classes behave exactly the
same way in political life as they do in their private life. … Things are hardly
better when it comes to the much celebrated national heroes of the Egyptian
military. The generals are worried about their business empires, which account
for 40 percent of Egypt's economic performance. They're the biggest landowners
by far. They produce everything, from bottles for drinking water to
refrigerators to cars and flat screens."
In a bid to overcome the current government crisis the coalition partners in
Portugal reached an agreement on Saturday. Paulo Portas, who resigned as foreign
minister and is leader of the CDS, the junior party in the ruling coalition, has
been nominated to the newly created post of deputy prime minister with the
responsibility of coordinating economic policies and relations with the troika.
The liberal-conservative Portuguese daily Diário de Notícias is less than
enthusiastic about the move: "This new model still requires the approval of
President Cavaco Silva. … And achieving a new phase of growth and job creation
takes more than just words. Portas and his CDS want to push through tax relief.
… But the troika will only agree to changes in the financial and fiscal policy
if there are considerable cutbacks in public spending. Consequently Portas will
have to present a credible plan for state reform that includes cutbacks of 4.7
billion euros. Only time will tell whether this patchwork job has indeed managed
to strengthen the government's cohesion."
Sarkozy will return to the headquarters of his conservative UMP party today for
the first time since 2007. The current president François Hollande has every
reason to fear Sarkozy's return, the conservative French daily Le Figaro writes:
"The left would do well not to neglect the main thing: the man it is obsessed,
fascinated and in a way shaped by is once again at the centre of the game. This
will have consequences. François Hollande is well aware of that, he who was
elected fourteen months ago simply due to the widespread rejection of his
adversary. He took office with anti-Sarkozyism blazoned on his forehead and an
unrealistic programme whose demagogy he is paying for today, which he must
revise to the great displeasure of his camp. The UMP is in a mess? No doubt, but
the left is as well, perhaps even more so."
2013 is set to be a record year for Greek tourism, with the Association of Greek
Tourism Enterprises expecting 17 million visitors. The conservative Greek
daily Kathimerini writes that rather than luring as many tourists as possible
the country should focus on attracting wealthy visitors: "Tourism looks
particularly good this year. Even Athens, a city whose reputation suffered among
tourists in past years, is once again becoming an attractive holiday
destination. But we must develop our tourism plans with professionalism and a
vision. Just attracting so-and-so-many million visitors is the wrong goal, one
we should abandon. It makes no sense for the islands to be overrun by tourists
who spend very little while those with more buying power are scared off. Perhaps
the time has even come to limit the number of visitors to some popular tourist
destinations, as is customary in other countries."
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