EUROPEAN Union anti-fraud investigators have been alerted in
relation to €500,000 in suspected irregular payments at one of the country's
"The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) is
the Paying Agency for the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme and
in accordance with EU requirements carries out audits in respect of processes
and expenditure in Local Development Companies that are under contract to
deliver the programme locally," a spokesman said.
"The minister and department are fully committed to the delivery of the LEADER
programme in accordance with all EU requirements and to the benefit of
communities throughout the country."
EIRGRID has announced proposals to build part of the
controversial Grid West pylon project underground.
The move comes after the Government ordered the national grid operator to
consider the undergrounding all or part of the 113km project planned between
Roscommon and north west Mayo.
Since January, EirGrid has identified a number of possible underground routes
for the project from north-west Mayo to both Flagford and Cashla in Galway,
which includes an underground route running from north-west Mayo to Flagford.
The work has been carried out in consultation with local authorities in Mayo,
Roscommon and Galway, as well as the National Roads Authority and other relevant
The overground line is set to cost €240m, but an underground option would be
more expensive. Electricity customers pay the cost of infrastructure through
their bills, but not until the end of the year will the amount needed to build
the line emerge.
An Irish subsidiary of the world's largest aircraft leasing firm
paid tax in Ireland of less than 1pc on profits of €637m last year.
Accounts just filed for GE Capital Aviation Funding showed the firm posted
pre-tax profits of $866.5m (€637.2m) in the 12 months to the end of last year.
The returns show that the tax on the profits was $257,000 (€202,000) – an
effective rate of less than 1pc.
The accounts for 2013 state that the firm would have been liable for a tax bill
of $108.3m based on the Irish corporate tax rate of 12.5pc.
However, the firm availed of group relief totalling $95.39m and non-taxable
items totalling $13.375m contributing to a tax charge of $260,000.
The tax charge for the year was calculated at such a low level as a result of an
over-provision of tax of $3,000 in 2012.
The pre-tax profit of $866m for the US-owned subsidiary of General Electric
makes the company one of the most profitable public and private limited
companies in the country. Revenues came in at a little over €800m.
Recruitment firm ChinaHR has announced a €30m investment in China
as part of a trade mission to the region.
The company’s core Chinese business is forecast to grow by 60pc this year,
having placed 1m jobs and the investment will be largely in its technology which
is being ramped up to target the growing smartphone and tablet recruitment
market as job seekers change their search habits.
Funds will also be used to expand staffing levels at the company.
ChinaHR, formerly Saon, sold its European operations to Stepstone for around
€76m last year
Businessman Denis O'Brien owns 75pc of the recruiter, and Leslie Buckley the
"The Chinese economy is still strong, growing at approximately 7pcper annum,"
said Leslie Buckley, chairman of the company.
"This is good news for ChinaHR, as we continue to develop the future growth of
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has confirmed that reversing the
property tax will be a bottom-line issue for the party to enter a coalition
However, he refused to say if a 48 per cent rate of tax for those earning
€100,000 or more would be a deal-breaker.
Over the weekend Mr Adams told a Sinn Féin meeting the party needs to begin
preparing for government and getting its policy priorities right.
Outlining the party’s strategy, he told RTE this morning this will mean
developing and working out where best it can stand in preparing candidates and
also changing mindsets.
“We want to be in government and we want to be ambitious for change,” he said.
He said Sinn Féin would not go into government like Labour did and provide a
cover for conservative parties.
“Let’s get ready to be in government and let’s work out the terms.”
John McManus: Does anyone still think we are going to do a deal
with Europe on our legacy bank debt? Hardly a week goes by that some European
official or politician doesn’t rule it out and the Government, normally in the
form of “That link has never been made to me and I am a few years going out to
Europe,” Noonan said.
On Wednesday Noonan followed up by telling the Oireachtas finance committee that
we would be making an application to the new ESM for some money once it is
established in November. He was vague about the timing.
“There’s always a whether about the timing, and we’ll take advice on that, and
that’s the position we’re in,” he said, whatever that means.
On Thursday the head of the eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, poured yet more cold
water on the idea that we might get some debt relief. “Technically speaking it
would be possible. Politically it would be difficult,” he said following an
annual general meeting of the ESM’s board of governors in Luxembourg.
The life sciences sector is awash with M&A activity this year
with one proposed megadeal swiftly following another.
The frenetic activity is not confined to the companies themselves, or just their
executives and shareholders. It has been a veritable feeding frenzy for the
dealmakers, the advisers who line up behind each side in any proposed takeover.
However, the particularly tetchy battle between serial acquirer Valeant
Pharmaceuticals and its latest target, Botox and eyecare group Allergan – a $53
billion deal, if successful – has thrown a harsh light on some of the tactics
employed by investment banks pursuing lucrative advisory contracts.
Allergan this week released a chain of emails which show that Morgan Stanley –
since hired as an adviser to Valeant – had initially tried to get hired by
Allergan for its defence team and, in its pitch, called the unsolicited bidder a
“house of cards”.
In an email to Allergan’s top executives, Morgan Stanley’s global head of M&A
Robert Kindler reportedly said the company could be more aggressive in going
after Valeant’s business model and the value of its stock.
One of the European Central Bank’s chief decision-makers has
all-but ruled out any rise in the eurozone’s key benchmark interest rate — from
its current record low — for at least two years.
ECB Governing Council member and Austrian National Bank chief Ewald Nowotny told
his country’s largest newspaper at the weekend that as the recovery in the
eurozone was still at an early stage, it remains unlikely the ECB will increase
its rates until 2016, when it is hoped more sustainable economic growth will be
In an interview with the Vienna-based Krone Zeitung, Mr Nowotny said the
eurozone economy is only showing signs of green shoots at present.
“Interest rates will turn as soon as there is clear growth; so more than 2%. But
from today’s perspective, that will hardly be before 2016,” he said.
The ECB has already forecast that the eurozone economy will grow at a rate of
between 0.5% and 3.1% between now and 2016.
Euro Topics: At a meeting in Paris on Saturday
the EU's leading Social Democrats agreed to back Jean-Claude Juncker for the
post of European Commission president. In return they want top EU posts and a
relaxing of the Stability Pact. Commentators see this as a victory for Angela
Merkel and believe it will further weaken the British government.
Ukip benefits from London's powerlessness: The
inability of the government to represent Britain's interests on the EU level
will only strengthen the Eurosceptics in the UK, the conservative paper The
Sunday Times fears: "From the treaty of Rome onwards and France's successful
defence of its agricultural interests, other countries have been adept at
protecting their key sectors. Britain in recent years has not. A report tomorrow
from the Business for Britain campaign will say that since the financial crisis
Britain has been unable to prevent a concerted EU push against what was seen as
Anglo-Saxon 'light-touch' regulation. ... Britain's loss of influence in Europe
is central to Ukip's [Eurosceptical] agenda. It is not clear that any of the
mainstream parties, including the Tories, have a response to it."
No to horse trading backed by Europe's
left: The socialist heads of state and government are demanding too high a price
for supporting Jean-Claude Juncker, the left-liberal Austrian daily Die Presse
believes: "François Hollande and above all Matteo
Renzi want political compensation before they vote for Jean-Claude Juncker as
Commission president. Specifically, they're after nothing less than (yet
another) break with the stability pact. ... The much talked-about ruinous
austerity is not really a consequence of the stability course. The difficult
financial crises in Southern Europe were not triggered by the strict austerity
or stability policy. Quite the opposite: they were caused by public and private
financing on credit and absurd speculation. ... If Juncker and/or the Christian
Democrats agree to such a horse trade, the EU may as well hand in its
resignation. Because then it would be politically - and economically -
Merkel can no longer count on Cameron:
In the row over the future Commission president, highly indebted EU members
France and Italy are calling for an easing of the Stability Pact.
For German Chancellor Angela Merkel it's annoying that she won't be able to
count on the UK's support in the fight to prevent a relaxing of the sovereign
debt limits, the German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk comments: "After next
week's summit Cameron will return to London with nothing more than the assurance
that he did everything he could to prevent Juncker from becoming Commission
president - in vain. Merkel doesn't share the glee of those looking forward to
Cameron's defeat in the Council. The chancellor needs the British more than ever
as an ally against an easing of the Stability Pact. She won't sacrifice Jean
Claude Juncker for this cause."
Football sedates the world: The hype
surrounding the Fifa World Cup is opium for the people, writes French
philosopher and former education minister Luc Ferry in the conservative daily Le
Figaro: "This is too much, far too much, and it's becoming unbearable. First
and foremost on the part of the media, who share in the feast like hogs at the
trough. Then, afraid to miss out on anything, the politicians spout
pseudo-enlightened comments that highlight their demagoguery rather than their
intelligence. And finally there are the fans, who shine neither for their taste
nor for their sense of hope, and instead make a show of their chauvinism, which
is as impressive as their ability to guzzle beer. Let's let the storm pass,
since there's no other option. But you can bet your last euro that the awakening
will be all the ruder."