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Archive for June, 2010

greatest fraud in Irish history continues

Ten developers want €1.5bn in Nama loans
27 June 2010 By Ian Kehoe

The ten most indebted property developers in the country are seeking up to €1.5 billion from the state in order to complete projects.

The ten developers, who have loans totalling €16 billion, have requested the extra funding from the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), which took over their loans at the end of March in the first round of loan transfers.

They have informed Nama that they need about €1.5 billion more to meet their day-today costs and to finance the completion of developments.

The requests are contained in business plans submitted by each developer to Nama.

As part of the process, they have ranked their various developments and properties based on their suitability for completion and potential return for Nama.

The state agency is still working on the business plans with a number of the developers. While the €1.5 billion figure may change slightly as the plans are fine-tuned, sources close to the process said any significant change was unlikely.

Nama has a €5 billion fund for developers to continue projects, but has stressed to all developers that it will make funds available if it is presented with compelling evidence that it makes financial sense to do so.

Nama is also seeking a full repayment plan from each developer, including the expected quarterly repayment schedule for each of the next three years and details of all the actions that will be taken to ensure Nama gets its money.

A company controlled by property developers John Ronan and Richard Barrett, whose loans were among the first to be transferred to Nama, last week said it had asked the state agency for working capital.

Real Estate Opportunities (REO) said it owed its banks €2 billion, including €997 million owed to Nama.

Many of the other developers in the top ten, including Bernard McNamara, are also seeking additional funding from Nama, sources told The Sunday Business Post last week.

The transfer of the next tranche of loans to Nama is due to be completed by the middle of next month, and will include the loans of the next 20 developers.

It is expected that they will request a similar level of additional funding to the top ten.

Comment

And the greatest fraud in Irish history continues

NAMA is a bailout of the top 10 developers and what has the labour party to say about this??

They Didn’t Share the Wealth!

They Didn’t Share the Wealth
There is no money left in Ireland. At least that’s what you might think after listening to Brian Cowen, Enda Kenny, IBEC and the parade of capitalist economists and pundits who parrot this nonsense. Yes, we are heading into a deep recession but guess who is expected to pay the cost?

The Government has no problem finding money to bail out bankers and speculators, it’s only when cash is needed for special-needs teachers, the sick, or to improve run-down schools and hospitals that nothing can be found. The attack on pay & pensions is class struggle by employers and the government against working people.

It may sound old-fashioned to talk of class struggle, but what else do you call it when one class wants to preserve its wealth at the expense of the other class? When private sector workers see 90% of pension funds they paid into for years going down the tube, Brian Goggin of Bank of Ireland thinks he is hard done by because he will “take home less than €2 million” this year.

We had a financial regulator, Patrick Neary, who waltzed off with a golden handshake of €600,000 and a pension of €140,000 per year. That pension alone is the equivalent of what four workers and their families on the average industrial wage live on. And what did Neary do to deserve this, apart from turning a blind eye to massive financial ‘irregularities’ in the banking industry?



Workers in the public service are told to suffer a €1.4 billion cut in wages, those on €35,000 will see their pay cut by €43 a week. Yet the wealthiest 1%, with €87 billion in assets, pay nothing at all. To add insult to injury the government has torn up the Public Sector Pay Agreement, denying 260,000 workers their small but agreed pay increases.

At the same time billionaire businessman Sean Quinn can lose €1 billion and say it’s no problem “you win some, you lose some”. When you have an annual income of €500 million that’s very true!

IBEC’s aim is to reduce Irish wage rates and to make us think that a reasonable pension in old age is a privilege rather than a right. The attack on the public sector is just the start. Private sector wages are being driven down too. Even the Minimum Wage of €8.65 an hour is criticised as too high by Fianna Fail ministers like Billy Kelleher, who ‘earns’ a cool €139,266 before expenses (and that’s after his 10% cut).

Their goal is to subject working people to a Thatcher-style defeat. They want wholesale wage cuts across the economy. If we don’t fight back they will keep coming back to take more out of our pay packets, close down more of our services and give our children a lower standard of living than we had. The rich are good at looking after their class interests – we should take the same attitude. They didn’t share the wealth in the Celtic Tiger years, why should we share the pain today?
source http://www.wsm.ie/news_viewer/5304

More cuts because NAMA needs more money

ED at Louth County Hospital to close

[Posted: Mon 28/06/2010 by Deborah Condonwww.irishhealth.com]

The emergency department (ED) at Louth County Hospital in Dundalk will no longer operate from 9am on Tuesday, June 27, the HSE has announced.

From that time, emergency services will be provided at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. However a minor injuries unit (MIU) will be available at Louth County seven days a week, from 9am until 8pm.

The MIU will treat adults and children aged 14 years and over who present with non-emergency conditions, such as sprains, strains, minor burns, minor wounds, bites, cuts and grazes.

According to the HSE, if you are unsure whether your injury should be treated in the MIU or an ED, you can call 042 9385424 or 042 9381250.

“From Tuesday all emergency and complex care for Louth will be provided in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. Patients needing emergency hospital admission will be admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, or the nearest appropriate hospital. The public are reminded that routine matters are best treated by their GP,” the HSE said.

The MIU at Louth County can treat suspected broken bones to the legs from knees to toes, suspected broken bones to the arms from collar bone to finger tips, all sprains and strains, facial injuries, eye injuries, minor burns and scalds, wounds, bites, cuts and grazes, including scalp lacerations, splinters and fish hooks, foreign bodies in eyes/ears/nose and minor chest injuries.

Some conditions it will not treat include pregnancy-related problems, chest pain, abdominal pain, injuries following a fall from a height or a road traffic accident and injuries to the neck, back, hips or pelvis.

The HSE has insisted that these changes to acute hospital care in Louth ‘are based on international and national evidence which indicates that acute complex healthcare, particularly for emergency medicine, surgical services and critical care services should be provided in high volume hospitals in order to maximise clinical outcomes and ensure safe services’.

It pointed out that the new arrangements have been in the planning phase for a number of years as part of the HSE’s Transformation Programme. However these changes have been accelerated due to the difficulties in recruiting junior doctors to Louth.

“The HSE has been engaged in a comprehensive international recruitment campaign over the last number of months involving a range of medical recruitment agencies, however at the current time it has not been possible to fill all vacant posts in the Louth. As such these new arrangements are being put in place to ensure that patient safety and services are maintained,” it said.

As part of these arrangements ambulance services for Louth County have been enhanced to include an extra 24/7 crew stationed in the area. The ambulance will bring patients to the nearest appropriate hospital e.g. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital or Cavan General. In some extreme cases of life-threatening emergencies patients may also be taken to Daisy Hill, Newry, if that is the nearest appropriate hospital and in keeping with current agreed protocols and procedures.

“These changes to emergency services in Louth are necessary to ensure that patients can access the care that they need from appropriately trained and qualified staff. Patient safety is the only consideration in making these changes to hospital services.

“It is important that the public familiarise themselves with the new arrangements to ensure that they are accessing appropriate care in the right setting. Information in relation to the changes is being made available through adverts in media, leaflets being distributed to households in the area and on www.hse.ie as it is important that the community in Louth understand what services are offered in the MIU and how they vary from an ED,” explained Doiminic O’Branagain, clinical director of the Louth/Meath Hospital Group.

Meanwhile the HSE pointed out that the new and expanded ED at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital is ‘one of the measures to ensure additional workload from Louth County Hospital can be managed’.

In the meantime, Louth County Hospital will continue to provide day surgery services, day medical services, outpatient services and minor injury services. The existing medical wards at the hospital will in the future provide rehabilitation and step-down services.

There will be an 11-bed dedicated stroke unit, in addition to general rehabilitation and beds for step-down care. Meanwhile colposcopy services for the north east have recently been centralised at Louth County Hospital following their transfer from Our Lady of Lourdes and Cavan General Hospital.

The HSE is reminding people, for emergency treatment, call 999 or 112 for ambulance services.

If you are unsure if your injury can be treated in the MIU, call 042 9385424 or 042 9381250 between 9am – 8pm.

The ED at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital can be contacted at 041 980 5798.

source http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=17536

We are still one of the most expensive countries in Europe

Irish food prices second highest in Europe

Monday, 28 June 2010 17:07

Ireland has the second highest food and drink prices in the European Union. New figures from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, show Irish prices were 29% higher than the EU average.

By contrast British prices were 3% below the EU average. Denmark had the highest prices, almost 40% above the EU average.

Ireland recorded the highest prices in Europe for dairy produce such as milk and cheese – 37% above the average. UK dairy produce was 5% below the average price.

Ireland – which has claimed to be the biggest meat exporter in the northern hemisphere – had the fifth highest meat prices of the 27 countries surveyed. Consumers here paid 20% more than the EU average for meat.

Consumers in Britain – a major market for Irish beef exports – paid just 2% more than the EU average for their meat.

Ireland is also one of the most expensive places in Europe to buy your daily bread, with bread and cereal prices here at 32% higher than the average. British bread is 16% lower than the average

Alcohol prices in Ireland were 67% higher than the EU average – second only to Finland, where prices were found to be 70% above the average.

Alcohol prices are largely determined by the level of taxes and excise which governments apply to the product. The same is true of tobacco products.

Irish tobacco prices – at 217% of the average – were the most expensive in the EU. The lowest tobacco prices were found in Bulgaria, which was 46% of the average.

Overall the dearest countries to buy food and drink are Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Luxembourg and Belgium. Bulgaria, Romania and Poland are the cheapest.

Comment

This put an end to the lies the Fianna Fail & Green government are spreading

We are still one of the most expensive countries in Europe!

Suiting Up for a Post-Dollar World

 

by John Browne, Senior Market Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital | June 25, 2010

Print

The global financial crisis is playing out like a slow-moving, highly predicable stage play. In the current scene, Western governments are caught between the demands of entitled welfare beneficiaries and the anxiety of bondholders who fear they will be stuck with the bill. As the crisis reaches an apex, prime ministers and presidents are forced into a Sophie’s choice between social unrest and bankruptcy. But with the “Club Med” economies set to fall like dominoes, the US Treasury market is not yet acting the role we would have anticipated.

Our argument has always been that the US benefits from its reserve-currency status, allowing it to accumulate unsustainable debts for an unusually long period without the immediate repercussions of inflation or higher borrowing costs. But this false sense of security may be setting us up for a truly monumental crash.

There is fresh evidence that time is running out for the dollar-centric global monetary order. In fact, central banks outside the US are already making swift and discrete preparation for a post-dollar era.
To begin, the People’s Bank of China has just this week decided to permit a wider trading range between the yuan and the dollar. This is the first step toward ending the infernal yuan-dollar peg. While the impetus behind this abrupt change remains a mystery, I have a sneaking suspicion that, as my colleague Neeraj Chaudhary explained in his commentary last week, the nationwide labor strikes were a prime motivator.

In response to the 2008 credit crunch, the Fed printed so many dollars that the People’s Bank of China was forced to drive Chinese inflation into double digits to maintain the peg. The pain has fallen on China’s workers, who have seen their wages stagnate while prices for everything from milk to apartments have skyrocketed. This week’s move indicates that, regardless of its own policy motives, the Communist Party can no longer afford to keep pace with the dollar’s devaluation. The result will be a shift in wealth from America to China, which may trigger a long-anticipated run on the dollar, while creating investment opportunities in China.

Just days before China’s announcement, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev rattled his monetary sabre by telling the press of his intention to lead the world toward a new monetary order based on a broad basket of currencies. Giving strength to his claim, the Central Bank of Russia announced that it would be adding Canadian and Australian dollars to its reserves for the first time. Analysts suggest that the IMF may follow suit. While Russia floats in the limbo between hopeless kleptocracy and emerging economy, it does possess vast natural resources and a toe-hold in both Europe and Asia. In other words, it will be a strategically important partner for China as it tries to cast off dollar hegemony.

Speaking of Europe, the major powers there are moving toward a post-dollar world by rejecting President Obama’s calls to jump on America’s debt grenade. The prescriptions coming from Washington translate loosely to: our airship is on fire, so why don’t you light a candle under yours so that we may crash and burn together. Given that dollar strength is largely seen as a function of euro weakness (as Andrew Schiff discussed in our most recent newsletter, debt troubles in the eurozone’s fringe economies have created a distorted confidence in the greenback. However, as you might imagine, Europe has higher priorities than being America’s fall guy. Led by an ever-bolder Germany, the European states are wisely choosing not to throw themselves on our funeral pyre, but to wisely clean house in anticipation of China’s rise. 

In another ominous sign for the dollar, the Financial Times reported Wednesday that after two decades as net sellers of gold, foreign central banks have now become net buyers. What’s more, more than half of central bank officials surveyed by UBS didn’t think the dollar would be the world’s reserve in 2035. Among the predicted replacements were Asian currencies and the euro, but – by far – the favorite was gold. This is supported by Monday’s revelation by the Saudi central bank that it had covertly doubled its gold reserves, just about a year after China made a similar admission. There is no reason to assume these are isolated incidents, or that the covert trade of dollars for gold doesn’t continue. To the contrary, this is compelling evidence that foreign governments are outwardly supporting the status quo while quietly preparing for the dollar’s almost-inevitable devaluation. What people like Paul Krugman believe to be a return to medieval economics may, in fact, be the wave of the future.  

In peacetime, hardened troops will likely tolerate a blowhard general for an extended period; but when the artillery opens up with live ordnance, an ineffectual leader risks rapid demotion. The newspapers are now riddled with hints that foreign governments have lost faith in Washington and the dollar reserve system. It seems to me only natural that after a century of war, inflation, and socialism, the next hundred years would belong to those people who hold the timeless values of hard money and fiscal prudence. Unfortunately, our policymakers are not those people.

source

Copyright © 2010 John Browne

Workers fight against Bank Bailouts and political corruption

Address by Richie Boy Barrette to the demonstrators outside the Central Bank Dublin

Ref:Protest against bank bailouts and incoming cuts, as part of European week of action.

A group of dedicated people were out in front of the Central Bank and Anglo Irish Bank
Demonstrating against the Bank bailouts and the attach on workers’ rights and pensions
Leading the charge was Joe Higgins
Looking around the small numbers (approx 250 demonstrators) I wondered why the Irish People have not yet woken up to the massive fraud been perpetrated on them be the ruling elite!
For Christ sake there was more people waiting outside Smiths toy store (apparently for Jededward) than they were outside the Anglo Irish Bank

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