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News : International Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014 - 9:38 AM


Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - June 24, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Jun 24, 2014 - 7:47 AM

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Irish Independent

AIB has claimed that businessman Anthony O'Reilly, Ireland's former richest man, is broke.

Yesterday, AIB secured a judgment for €22m against Mr O'Reilly, who admits he owes almost €200m to his creditors.

The AIB judgment is just under 12pc of the one-time billionaire's overall personal liabilities, which now stand at €195m.

Mr O'Reilly did not dispute the AIB debt and "is hopeful" that the sale of his Castlemartin Estate in Co Kildare – described as "the jewel in the crown" – would discharge most or all of the debt owed to the state-owned lender.

He has sought a six-month court delay on the enforcement of the judgment as he wants to sell other assets in an orderly fashion.

Such a stay or postponement would prevent a series of court actions by other creditors, a move which could lower the value of those assets.

High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he wanted time to consider the delay bid and would give his judgment on that issue on Friday. He granted a stay until Friday pending that decision.

TAXPAYERS will not have to foot the estimated €1m legal bill for former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick.

Circuit Court judge Martin Nolan has rejected an application by Mr FitzPatrick's legal team that he should not be liable for the cost of defending himself during his recent 48-day criminal trial.

Last March, Mr FitzPatrick, of Greystones, Co Wicklow, was acquitted, at the direction of Judge Nolan, of 16 counts of providing illegal loans to the Quinn family and the Maple 10 group of investors.

Insurers refused to cover the legal costs of Mr FitzPatrick, an undischarged bankrupt who did not seek legal aid.

Mr FitzPatrick's defence was privately funded after he was refused directors and officers' liability (D&O) cover.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has hit back at claims by the Law Society that proposals to cut court services are shortsighted and flawed insisting "things have to move on".

The society's director general, Ken Murphy, has said cuts to court services around the country have reached an unjustifiable level and now pose a threat to "the very fabric of our justice system".

The body which represents solicitors said 77 local courts have been closed since 2008, while the Courts Service budget has been reduced by 40pc.

A proposal to shut suburban District Courts in Dun Laoghaire, Tallaght, Swords and Balbriggan is being considered.

"The rationalisation of the Courts Service has gone beyond what is sensible and justified, and poses a threat to the very fabric of our justice system," Mr Murphy said.

When asked about the matter in Limerick yesterday, Mr Noonan said: "The law profession is a very conservative profession."

Referring to the profession's Latin motto Nolumus Mutari (we shall not be changed), Mr Noonan added: "I think they have an inscription in Latin over The King's Inns which effectively means nothing will ever change.

TRAVEL headaches loom for airline passengers from today as a French air traffic controllers' strike looks set to cause delays to Aer Lingus flights and ground at least 26 Ryanair flights across Europe.

Aer Lingus has told passengers it plans to run its full schedule of flights but has warned customers to expect delays to some flights.

The six-day strike action, called by French airline trade unions, has been timed ahead of a June 30 deadline for France to present its aviation budget plans to European officials.

The strike could impact on hundreds of thousands of passengers across the continent.

The tighter budgets are part of a European Commission plan, called Single Sky Europe, to cut air navigation costs. A similar walkout in 2013 led to some 1,800 flights being cancelled a day across Europe.

Ryanair has been the airline worst-hit by the action, with 26 flights cancelled.

The flights affected include those coming in and out of France, as well as those serving airports in Spain, Portugal and northern Africa.

Irish Times

There aren’t too many Clonmel-based companies that find themselves getting bought out by a Canadian conglomerate for €1.45 billion, but Kentz has always had an eye on the prize.

The company, which employs 14,500 across 36 countries, was established as an electrical contracting business in Clonmel in 1919 by Michael Francis Kent. For many years, it seemed content to stay that way.

It began to look way beyond the river Suir in the late 1970s, however, after successfully completing a project with a US engineering and construction partner in Saudi Arabia.

The Government is in discussions with international lenders about repaying its bailout loans early, in a bid to reduce the debt burden on the state.

Officials have held discussions with its bailout partners about possibly repaying some of the EU-IMF loans early, though no decision has been made.

Ireland will be subject to two post-programme reviews by the EU and IMF until 75 per cent of the country’s bailout loans are repaid, which is expected to be around 2031. The government will only begin repaying the principal of the EU portions of the loans in 2027.

European leaders will consider calls for an interpretation of EU budget rules that gives more emphasis to economic growth, according to the draft of a document being circulated before a summit in Brussels this week.

The document, which European Council president Herman Van Rompuy is drawing up in consultation with Italy, the next country to hold the rotating EU presidency, marks an effort to reset the EU agenda away from the budget cuts and tax squeezes that characterised the initial reaction to the euro zone debt crisis.

With much of Europe still struggling to return to sustainable growth and with unemployment rates at record levels in many areas, pressure for a change of course and an easing in austerity was underlined by a surge in support for anti-EU parties in last month’s European Parliament election.

Irish Examiner

Current figures do not show any leeway for the Government in next year’s budget and the full sum of €2.1bn must be cut, says a European Commission report.

This is contrary to what Finance Minister Michael Noonan believes, and could set the country on a collision course with Brussels when the draft budget is produced in October.

The country’s huge debt, that reached more than 120% of GDP, can only be reduced if the fiscal adjustment continues, the report warns, noting that the Government is coming under political pressure on the budget.

And while the Government has met all its targets to reduce the deficit, the debt remains the most vulnerable to fiscal shocks, it says.

The report is the first since the Troika finished up and the first of twice yearly reports that will study the country’s finances until 75% of the €67bn loans are paid off in 2031.

Europe

Euro Topics: The Spanish government has announced income tax relief for Spaniards, who can expect it to kick in next year.

Under the tax reform presented by the Popular Party (PP) administration on Friday, income tax on wages will go down an average 12.5 percent over the course of two years, said Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría.

Santamaría added that for 62 percent of taxpayers – those earning less than €24,000 a year – the income tax rebate will be an average 23.5 percent in 2016.

The deputy prime minister also denied there would be any further hikes to value-added tax (VAT), save those on certain sanitary products to comply with orders from Brussels.

The publication of further recordings of conversations between top Polish decision makers by the conservative news magazine Wprost triggered an outcry on Sunday.

Now Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski has been cited as having made vulgar and disparaging remarks about the value of the Polish-US alliance to Jacek Rostowski, who was finance minister at the time of the recordings. Not a problem, the conservative daily Rzeczpospolita finds: "To say that these revelations will hurt Poland internationally is exaggerated. Sikorski clearly behaved undiplomatically. But he did so in a private conversation. Many diplomats express sharp opinions in private that would cause a scandal if they were made public. And domestically all that matters is that what we have learned so far of Sikorski's conversation with Rostowski doesn't go against the constitution or point to an illegal use of tax money for party interests."

Passion wins over tactics at Brazilian World Cup: After the 2-2 against Ghana on Saturday the conservative German daily Die Welt calls for a lighter approach from the German team in the Brazil World Cup: "Seldom has a world championship been as refreshingly unconventional and exotic as this one. In the country that was champion five times, football has returned to its origins - and also to a certain lightness. Whereas in the last few years Europe's highly tactical style of football dominated, now a touch of playing field charm is making itself felt in the stadiums. Outsiders like Costa Rica and Columbia are casting their spell with a playing style dictated less by the head than the heart. In these soaring temperatures, passion and the absolute will to win are back in vogue. European teams like Spain or Italy that until now had shone with their tactical prowess are having a hard time. ... The German players must prove that they too have understood the rules of this World Cup. Otherwise they will suffer the same fate as Spain and England."


© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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