Friday, February 08 08:22:41
The ground breaking deal to relieve the nation's crippling debt has given the State a E20bn cash flow boost and strengthened hopes of economic recovery. The long-awaited Anglo deal stretches the cost of bailing out the toxic bank for up to 40 years instead of 10, with the final repayment not due until 2053.
In a boost for weary taxpayers, Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed he would be using the interest savings to reduce Budget pain by E1bn over the next two years.
"What it means to the ordinary family is that there will be E1bn less taken from them in terms of taxes and expenditure cuts over that period," he said.
The Government warned that this was not a magic solution to all the country's problems. There are still painful tax rises and spending cuts ahead for families. The Irish Independent
EU efforts to boost free trade with the US and the rest of the world will bring "massive benefits" to the Republic, a senior European Commission official told a gathering of business people yesterday.
Addressing the Dublin Chamber of Commerce agm late yesterday, Irishman David O'Sullivan, who is chief operating officer of the commission's European External Action Service, said membership of the EU was in the Republic's best economic interest.
Mr O'Sullivan said that while the EU was committed to the World Trade Organisation, it was also continuing to open markets through bilateral agreements with both the US and economies in Asia.
"If we succeed in these negotiations the EU will become the hub of the largest free trade network ever seen, stretching from North America, through to India and the Far East," Mr O'Sullivan told the meeting.
"It will bring massive economic benefits to all our member states, especially to those such as Ireland, for whom open markets are the lifeblood of economic success."
Mr O'Sullivan pointed out that the transatlantic economy - the EU and US - was the globe's biggest and richest, generating half of the world's wealth. The two were also each other's primary sources and destinations of foreign direct investment.
"Taking down trade barriers between us - in particular, regulatory barriers - will have a huge effect, underpinning our interdependence and co-operation on the global scene," he said.
"The economic benefits of an agreement are, therefore, clear, especially for Ireland which has such strong trade and investment links with the US."
Mr O'Sullivan also predicted that the UK, one of the Republic's biggest EU trading partners, would remain as a full member of the union, although he said the debate within the country was likely to run for some time. The Irish Times
The Kerry Group has said it is concerned about the potential damage to Irish food exports as a result of the horse-meat scandal. McAdams Foods in Monaghan was identified as having imported raw materials for beef burgers that contained horse meat, while the ABP Silvercrest plant has lost around E50m in contracts since its burgers were found to contain horse meat.
A senior executive from Kerry Ingredients & Flavours EMEA - one of three divisions in the global Kerry group - said the horse-meat situation, which was potentially damaging, had to be resolved.
Its chief executive, Eoin O'Connell, said that the scandal had to be sorted out as quickly as possible.
"We had the initial news a few weeks back. The Irish Independent
Administrators at troubled retailer HMV will close 66 of the chain's stores, resulting in nearly 1,000 jobs being axed. Seven outlets in Northern Ireland are among those that will see the shutters come down. The stores are in Ballymena, Boucher Road and Forestside in Belfast, Lisburn, Derry, Newry and Newtownabbey.
The 66 stores earmarked for closure represent about a third of HMV's overall portfolio in the UK. Last week, the company, which went into administration last month following a long period of trading difficulties, also sacked 190 people at its head office.
All the outlets being closed are loss-making, according to administrators Deloitte. It said that the stores will continue to trade in the short-term, but will close over the next one to two months. HMV has a total of 220 stores in the UK. The Irish Independent