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News : International Last Updated: Jul 15, 2014 - 3:11 PM


Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - July 15, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Jul 15, 2014 - 12:07 PM

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Germany's World Cup team wlecomed in Berlin, July 15, 2015

Irish Independent

THOUSANDS of people over the age of 50 are over-paying for their health insurance. But huge savings are possible by changing plans and staying with the same insurer.

Spiralling premium costs and changes in the benefits offered on plans that were traditionally popular with those who have been insured for a long time mean they often have costly cover.

If you have not reviewed your cover for two years, or if all of the family is on the same level of cover, then the chances are that you are paying too much, expert Dermot Goode of Healthinsurancesavings.ie says.
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Some people are paying for a private room when they may be able to dramatically reduce the cost of their health insurance by opting for a semi-private room, he said.

"To be fair to the health insurers, they are responding to the affordability issue in the market by launching new lower-cost plans. In some cases, they will 'clone' existing plans and launch them under a new name but at a lower cost."

MICROSOFT is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years as the software maker looks to integrate Nokia Oyj's handset unit, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the company's plans.

The company employs 1,200 full time employees and 700 full-time contract staff in Ireland.

The reductions, expected to be announced as soon as this week, could be in the Nokia unit and the parts of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as in marketing and engineering, Bloomberg reported.
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Since absorbing the handset business of Nokia this spring, Microsoft has 127,000 employees, far more than rivals Apple Inc and Google Inc. Wall Street is expecting Chief Executive Satya Nadella to make some cuts, which would represent Microsoft's first major layoffs since 2009.

The restructuring may end up being the biggest in Microsoft history, topping the 5,800 jobs cut in 2009, the report said.

OUTSPOKEN Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary intends to stay at the helm of the airline for at least another five years.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, the aviation chief confirmed that he has signed up to stay at the reinvented Ryanair until he's 58.

However, he insisted that he couldn't imagine himself still being there by the time he becomes eligible to draw the state pension.

"I'd go nuts if I thought I was going to be here for another 15 years," he said at the company's HQ near Dublin Airport, where he was helping to launch Ryanair's new booking app.

Irish Times

Jean-Claude Juncker set out a “grand coalition” investment programme aimed at reviving Europe’s economy in an impassioned speech today seeking confirmation as the next head of the executive European Commission.

Belying his reputation as a veteran back-room fixer, Mr Juncker spoke with eloquence and fire of his ambition to reindustrialise Europe and put the European Union’s 25 million unemployed, many of them young, back into work. He promised a €300 billion public-private investment programme over the next three years, combining existing and perhaps augmented resources from the EU budget and the European Investment Bank with private sector funds, to build energy, transport and broadband networks and industry clusters.

“We need a reindustrialisation of Europe,” the 59-year-old former Luxembourg prime minister said. He won strong endorsement from the Socialist group in the European parliament as well as his own centre-right bloc, the largest in the EU legislature.

A number of economists have warned that October’s budget may be too early for the Government to take action to lower the amount of tax paid by people at the top rate of 52 per cent.

Following the Cabinet reshuffle last Friday the Coalition published a “statement of priorities” for its remaining 21 months in office. It included a commitment to publish a tax reform plan “to be delivered over a number of budgets to reduce the 52 per cent tax rate on low- and middle-income earners.”

Jim Power, chief economist at Friends First, said that, having just exited the EU-IMF bailout, talk of tax cuts was “premature”. He said arguably the most positive thing the Government could do in the remainder of its lifetime would be to deliver two “neutral budgets”.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has indicated that a budget correction of less than the previously forecast €2 billion will be required in October, as a result of positive trends in economic data.

John FitzGerald of the Economic and Social Research Institute said the Government should plan to introduce a €2 billion correction and lower the target to €1 billion, or less, if the data remained positive closer to the time.

Robert Pitt has been appointed as the new chief executive of Independent News and Media to replace Vincent Crowley who retired in May.

Mr Pitt (43), who will take up the new role in the autumn, has held a number of senior roles in the retail sector in Eastern Europe over the past 20 years.

A graduate of University College Dublin, with a BA in Economics, the father of four was most recently chief operations officer at Tesco in the Czech Republic from May 2012 onwards.

Mr Pitt emigrated to the Czech Republic in 1993 and spent time working in construction before getting a job with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Prague. He stayed there for two years before leaving to set up a joint venture in Beijing, returning to Ireland in the late 1990s, where he played a key role in helping to establish Lidl here

Irish Examiner

An Irish private equity fund aimed at investing in small and medium enterprises closed yesterday having raised €290m.

The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund, run by asset managers, the Carlyle Group and Cardinal Capital, performed extremely well with investment levels at the “higher end” of the partners’ expectations, according to a Carlyle spokesperson.

The success of the fundraising process illustrates the favourable investment opportunities available in the Irish market at present, according to Carlyle managing director Robert Easton.

Two of the funds key investors are the Irish National Pensions Reserve and Enterprise Ireland.

Carlyle and Cardinal now have five years to invest the €290m raised and a further five years to improve the performance of the firms it invests in.

According to a Carlyle spokesperson, technology, media and telecommunications firms represent a key area of interest for the fund, in line with the group’s expertise.

Europe

Euro Topic: Palestinians blew chance for democracy: Hamas could have founded a democratic state nine years ago with the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip and the clearing of Jewish settlements from the West Bank, the right-wing liberal daily Jyllands-Posten points out: "Imagine if the Palestinians had used this chance and shown the world that they can establish democratic institutions, attract investments and live in peace alongside Israel. Presumably Israel would have withdrawn from the West Bank, and a Palestinian state would have been recognized. That sounds like a utopia, but 15 to 20 years ago the Palestinians were the ones who were best prepared for democracy in the Arab world. Paradoxically, that had to do with their close ties to Israel. The Palestinians watched Israeli television, spoke Hebrew, worked in Israel and experienced democracy in action. ... Despite the conflicts with Israel, they chalked up experiences with democracy. ... Today that experience has largely vanished."

Only talks can stop more Hamas aggression: Egypt's plan for a ceasefire has failed and at any rate it can't take the place of peace talks, the liberal Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore argues: "Who will reach their goal first: the Israeli infantry or international diplomacy? The force of the latter is impressive, but clearly there is no one in charge. ... Now Egypt's president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is intervening. He doesn't know whether to hope Israel will eliminate Hamas (the Palestinian version of his enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood) or whether he should prevent a conflict on the borders of his economically ruined country. ... Only a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the State of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, could prevent Hamas from firing missiles again six months or two years from now."

In the traditional Bastille Day televised interview on Monday, French President François Hollande reaffirmed his reform policy and called on the French to be more optimistic. The Catholic French daily La Croix is sceptical about whether the president's promises will be fulfilled: "The circumstances were rather favourable for this message of appeasement: the Bastille Day ceremonies provided a moment of togetherness. The televised interview let the president underline his priorities and set the agenda. In a period of sluggish growth, Hollande continues to play the recovery card and urge the French to trust in the future. At the same time he announced a reform programme that would last until 2017: in 2015 health services, in 2016 social issues. ... A busy timetable meant to stress the dynamism of the president and his government. In the meantime the French continue to set their hopes on a hypothetical recovery."

Footballers enhance Germany's image: After their World Cup victory in Brazil the German team will receive a rapturous reception at a fan fest in Berlin today, Tuesday. The conservative daily Die Welt stresses the positive impact the footballers have had on Germany's international image: "This team has done the same for the way the world and Germans perceive Germany as Willy Brandt did when he went down on his knees in Warsaw and Helmut Kohl did in Verdun. The team has become the most popular manifestation of what is seen as German both abroad and here in Germany. ... This team is less a confirmation of German policy or its charming double, as some would have it, than an exciting counterpoint to it. Löw's line-up was the ideal combination of team spirit and individuality. The collective triumphed in exploiting the full potential of each individual player."


© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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