MICHAEL Noonan's announcement of his treatment for cancer
immediately brought back sad memories of Brian Lenihan's battle with the
disease. But there are substantial differences between the diagnosis of the
Finance Minister and his predecessor.
The late Mr Lenihan lost his fight with pancreatic cancer three years ago next
From the outset, he knew the odds were against him and his bravery struck a
chord with many as he struggled on during a fateful period in the economic
history of the nation.
Despite the opprobrium heaped upon the administration in which he served, which
was responsible for the country entering an EU-IMF bailout, Mr Lenihan is still
held in high regard by the public at large.
Mr Noonan's account of his own illness provides a more positive outlook. After
guiding the country out of the bailout, the Finance Minister is signalling his
intent to stay on his position for the remainder of the Government's term of
NAMA wants to sell a major site in the Dublin Docklands, as it
seeks to develop the property.
NAMA said it was "inviting proposals from interested parties to acquire a long
leasehold interest" in a 2.35-hectare site on the northside of the river Liffey
beside the half-built former headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank. That site is now
owned by the Central Bank.
Unusually, the site will be offloaded through the public tender process. That
means the state bad bank has not retained an agent to sell the property and no
asking price has been released.
However, given the size and location of the property, the final sale price is
likely to run to several million euro.
The site will be officially listed on the government-run e-Tenders website this
Surprisingly, only the leasehold is being offered for sale.
HE’S the American senator who was happy to wave the tricolour for
Irish-American voters at last year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York.
Now Charles ‘Chuck’ Schumer – who has urged Bausch and Lomb’s owner to move the
Irish business to the US – has been accused of “smelling blood” and “going in
for the kill”.
‘Chuck’ called Valeant Pharmaceutical’s chief executive J Michael Pearson last
week, pushing him to bring the jobs to Rochester in New York due to the
potential closure of the Irish plant.
In a press release issued afterwards, he said he was “confident” that Rochester
would have a “great shot” at winning the manufacturing jobs.
Schumer said his “latest push” came after success in getting Valeant, which owns
Bausch and Lomb, to locate 100 new jobs last year at an ‘ultra’ contact lens
production line in Rochester instead of Ireland.
TESCO UK has suffered its worst fall in quarterly sales and
market share in at least two decades.
The supermarket company's share of its domestic market fell 1.5 percentage
points to 29pc in the 12 weeks to the end of March – the biggest decline since
records began in 1994, Kantar Worldpanel said.
The survey, released yesterday, added to investors' concerns ahead of Tesco's
quarterly results today as it continues to lose ground to discounters Aldi and
Lidl, as well as Britain's upscale Waitrose chain.
The European Commission’s intervention in the nascent debate on
the October budget underlines the gravity of the political challenge now facing
the Coalition. Six months after Ireland left the bailout, it shows that the 2015
fiscal plan will be an immensely difficult affair.
In spite of a stinging electoral rebuke for both Labour and Fine Gael, the
commission has declared that it sees no scope to slacken the rate at which they
increase the tax take and cut expenditure.
Although senior figures from Taoiseach Enda Kenny down have raised the prospect
of concessions for taxpayers as early as the next budget, the commission is
adamant that a further €2 billion retrenchment will still be required.
The State could save €16 billion on the projected
cost of its public service pension bill in the coming decades if it links
increases for pensioners to the cost of living rather than to pay rises for
serving staff, according to new official figures.
Historically, public service pension increases
have been based on the principle of pay parity, meaning they were set in line
with the pay of the grade from which the pensioner retired.
Pension payments for retired public service staff
are frozen until 2016, reflecting the pay freeze for serving personnel under the
Haddington Road agreement.
However, confidential official briefing documents
seen by The Irish Times suggest that, after 2016, the Government will have to
consider whether to maintain the pay parity arrangement or move to a system of
linking pension rises to consumer prices.
A US judge will today hear closing statements in the
bankruptcy trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm to
decide whether he should be discharged from bankruptcy and given a clean
financial start. Judge Frank Bailey will listen to statements from lawyers for
the former Anglo Irish Bank, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, and from Mr
Drumm’s own legal team at the conclusion of his trial in the Massachusetts
bankruptcy court in Boston.
The bank, which is owed €8.5 million by Mr Drumm,
and the court-appointed trustee overseeing his bankruptcy are seeking to block
his discharge from bankruptcy, claiming that he defrauded creditors by
transferring about €2 million in cash and property to his wife and that he lied
on his bankruptcy statements by failing to disclose those asset transfers.
Google inundated with requests to remove Europeans’ data -
Search-engine giant receives more than 41,000 requests in four days
Google has received more than 41,000 requests in four days from Europeans
wanting the company to remove personal information from its web search results,
according to people close to the company.
If Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, seeks an example of a
democratically elected leader embarked on radical reform, he could look to
Enrique Peña Nieto. True, the latter is president of a far-smaller country. And
a richer one – Mexico’s average standard of living is double India’s, although
poor economic performance in recent decades has narrowed the gap substantially.
The two countries’ leaders confront related challenges. Both need to generate
market-oriented growth in economies that show a huge gulf between a
high-productivity formal sector and a low-productivity informal one. Mr Peña
Nieto has embarked on bold reforms. Is his the model to be followed?
The Irish Government has agreed through the excessive deficit
procedure to reduce its deficit below 3% by the end of 2015. Moreover, by 2018,
under the Fiscal Stability Treaty, it has agreed to achieve structurally
According to the terms of the excessive deficit procedure, the Government is set
to implement €2bn in fiscal consolidation in October’s budget in order to reach
the 3% target.
But now that is coming under huge pressure.
The front-runner in the race to succeed Eamon Gilmore as the leader of the
Labour Party, Joan Burton, has said she will look to ease up in the planned €2bn
in consolidation in October.
Euro Topics: After almost 40 years on the throne,
King Juan Carlos of Spain announced his abdication in a surprise move on Monday.
The 76-year-old monarch's son Felipe will succeed him on the throne. While his
father's main achievement was overseeing the country's transition from
dictatorship to democracy, Felipe must now protect Spain's unity, commentators
Achievements will outweigh the mistakes: Even if the
end of his reign has been anything but glorious Juan Carlos will be remembered
as a great democrat, the liberal daily La Libre Belgique comments:
"Certainly, the Spanish king has had - and still has - health problems. Yes, his
popularity suffered from the scandals involving his daughter Cristina and his
son-in-law. And it was definitely not a glorious thing for him to go on an
elephant hunt in Botswana as Spain sank deeper and deeper into economic crisis.
... But in a few decades, when the eldest daughter of future king Felipe ascends
the throne, historians will underline the key role Juan Carlos played in Spain's
return to the values of European democracy. ... He played the democratic game
against the Franco regime and scored a spectacular victory in the decisive match
in 1981. ... That, and not the scandals that overshadowed the end of his reign,
is what will go down in history."
Juan Carlos's greatest achievement was his exemplary
role in the country's transition to democracy, the left-liberal daily El
Periódico de Catalunya comments: "The king's indisputable
contribution to the success of the transition from dictatorship to democracy
will go down in the history books. His legitimacy as king, reaffirmed by the
constitutional referendum of 1978, facilitated the arduous task of dismantling
the structures of the Franco dictatorship and establishing a parliamentary
monarchy that has given Spain the longest period of democracy, harmony,
stability and progress in its tumultuous history. The role he played on the
morning of February 23 , when he opposed the insurgents and ratified his
commitment to democracy, will always remain an iconic image for us. This
historical moment endowed the head of state with a popularity that has endured
right through to the end of his reign."
European elections: Council must block Juncker: Unlike
the European Parliament, the leaders of the EU member states have a democratic
mandate and should therefore nominate their own counter candidate to
Jean-Claude Juncker in the struggle over the post of EU Commission president,
The Financial Times argues: "Unlike the relative unknowns that populate the
parliament in Brussels the national leaders are well-known at home, so have a
genuine democratic mandate. That should give them the courage to face down the
pretensions of the parliament and its standard-bearer, Mr Juncker, and choose
their own candidate for commission president. Any such decision would, in turn,
be likely to provoke months of confrontation between the parliament and national
leaders in the European Council, and a stalemate over the commission presidency.
So be it. In the interests of democracy, it is important to have that
Growing inequality fuels WM protests: Shortly before the World Cup begins,
thousands of Brazilians have staged protests in recent days. It is mainly
the growing inequalities that are driving the people onto the streets, the
state-run liberal Austrian daily Wiener Zeitung comments: "Above all in Rio de
Janeiro, which will also host the Olympic Games in 2016, underground lines and
tramlines are being built. And a lot of money is being invested into 'appeasing'
in the poor neighbourhoods controlled by drug gangs. ... Investments in these
areas are therefore a good thing - for many people. But the large-scale revamp
of the city also has its losers. Fifa will earn an estimated five billion US
dollars while street vendors are banished from the streets. In Rio, the
underground is being extended to the rich southern part of the city but not to
the poor areas in the north. It's above all black youths who pay for the
'appeasement policy' with their lives and become the victims of human rights
abuses committed by police units deployed in the favelas."