Posts Tagged ‘ European Union ’

News In Brief: Garth-Gate Simmers On As Do The Spuds!


We love da shpuds! (image courtesy:

We love da shpuds! (image courtesy:


Summer’s over everyone, go back indoors. There’s plenty of rather stupid news to catch-up on anyway.

The PSNI were called after a Ryder Cup flag hung up in Rory McIlroy’s hometown was mistaken for a ‘terrorist’ flag. The poor fella flying the flag was forced to explain to the plod, the emblem on his flag was actually that of the European Union that he’d put up for a party not that of ‘an Islamic terrorist group’ as was reported to the police. According to the BBC, whom the homeowner told his story in the end everyone was laughing. HAHAHA Terrorism! HAHAHA Golf! Deadly craic. Continue reading

Senior Economist Warns Ireland “Should Be Praying” for Second Bailout

The head of Economics at Dublin City University today claimed that a second bailout in inevitable for Ireland and insisted we “should be praying” that the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank would be willing to facilitate it.

Professor Tony Foley made the comments when speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland radio programme. He said such an offer would be preferable to the Government’s current proposal of borrowing approximately €12 billion on international financial markets next year as this would invariably lead to crippling interest rates as the country attempts to repay its massive debt – estimated to reach €206 billion by 2015.

Professor Foley’s comments come less than 24 hours after Citigroup economist Willem Buiter stated that Ireland should negotiate a ‘standby’ second bailout in the event we are unable to return to the markets.

European Commissioner Olli Rehn’s spokesman, Amadeu Altafaj, has labelled such speculation as unhelpful given that the first programme was delivering and that Ireland had enjoyed positive growth and banking sector reform in 2011.

In another blow to the Irish economy, a new Goodbody Stockbrokers report has predicted further protracted growth in 2012 and claimed Ireland will not achieve the 3% of gross domestic product deficit target by 2015.

Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary said he expects the country’s GDP ratio to rise to 124% in 2014 and has revised down GDP growth estimates to 0.7% for this year from 1.2%.  GNP, excluding multinationals, and domestic demand will fall by 0.8% and 2.6% respectively.

Officials from the EU, IMF and ECB are in Dublin today, undertaking their fifth review of the €67.5bn loan programme. The talks are being headed by the IMF’s Ajai Chopra. The troika will review figures for 2011 and establish targets for the Government and the economy over the coming months.

Mr Chopra said, “A restructuring of the circa €30 billion in promissory notes (in relation to Anglo) provides an opportunity to reduce debt to a more sustainable level without the difficulties that Greece is currently experiencing with private sector involvement.” He added, “Another important issue is the speed at which the banking system is deleveraging.”

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny will meet British Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street on Thursday to discuss the ongoing debt crisis.

The Ultimate Guide On How To Cope With Losing Your Job

Top 10 to do’s:

  1. MOPE – Give yourself at least one or two days to sleep in, cry, shout, go out drinking with your mates, give out and complain about how badly they treated you. But please do not overindulge in this first step or you will only be setting yourself back.
  2. LOOK FORWARD – Stay positive as hard as that can be. In the initial period try your best not to look back only forward… as things start to move forward again you will be in a better frame of mind and emotionally stronger to look back and learn from any mistakes that you may have made in the job that you just lost.
  3. CLARIFY – Write a list of all the things you enjoy doing and schedule at least one preferably two of these into each day for the next two weeks. Stick to this schedule as it will keep you from slipping into a depression or laziness that is easy to fall into when you don’t have to get up for work.
  4. APPLY – Spend at least 2 hours per day applying for jobs that you would like to do. Try not to panic and apply for any old job as you could end up in something you hate doing and lose that job again shortly because it isn’t really what you want to be doing. Thus you will end up in a negative spiral that will not work wonders for your self esteem.
  5. FRIENDSHIP – Meet friends on a regular basis, even when you really don’t feel like it, get out and about. Even if it’s only for a coffee – keep in touch with your friends (the real ones who are there in good times as well as bad). It’s amazing how supportive friends are and how even just getting out of the house for a while can change your perspective.
  6. ENJOY – Use the time you are off to do the things you didn’t have time to do when you were working. Always wanted to try a dance/art/yoga/singing class? Well now’s your chance and there are a lot of community based schemes which offer great rates on classes of all types.
  7. DE-CLUTTER – get rid of all the junk in your wardrobe/kitchen/living room/garden that is useless and cluttering up your space. Once you have done this you will be amazed by how much clearer your head space will be to focus on where you want to go from here.
  8. VISUALISE – Get creative (and this one has always worked for me) – make a collage with photos, pictures torn out of newspapers or magazines or paintings or drawings of things that inspire you…. that you want to bring into your new life – visualisation works wonders….I am a firm believer in ‘what you will see will be’ and that’s why it’s so important to stay positive and focus on all the good because you will bring it in by seeing it.
  9. MORNING – take the time to eat a good wholesome breakfast every morning and to write a quick list of the things you want to achieve that day. As you go through the day tick off the items you have done. This will give you a sense of achievement and help you to rebuild your self esteem.
  10. DECIDE – did the career you were working in fulfil you? If the answer is yes then great apply for those types of jobs again but if it’s no allow yourself to dream, what other skills do you have, what kind of work would fulfil you? Do you need to study more to achieve your dream job? If so and you can afford to live on less money for a while, why not look up that course?

 Hello Reader.  I write this list from experience. I recently lost my second job to this recession and this time round I’m a lot more focussed and positive. I wrote the list in the order that worked for me but a different order might be more beneficial to you. A friend recommended de-cluttering to me in the early stages but I didn’t have the energy to do that then – once I’de done the first lot of steps I had more energy for the rest….. anyway, from the bottom of my heart – I hope these steps will help you the way they helped me.


Once Again, the Many Bear the Burden of the Few

‘A Government of the people, by the people, for the people.’ These were the now iconic words spoken by Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, nearly 150 years ago. An ideal we wish was still in use today.

The Irish cabinet has met, discussing changes which would see a drop of €8 in social welfare and €10 in child benefits. This drop has been casually referred to as only a pack of cigarettes. Such a description only serves to demean further the worst off in our society.

€8 less means one meal less. Less paid off a bill, a loan, a mortgage.  One commentator said, “That €8 is the difference between whether or not I can light the fire for next few days or whether or not I have the money to get the bus into town to go to my next hospital appointment or not.” There are undoubtedly those in Ireland today who live off the system as leeches, who see a life on social welfare as a desirable path. But today, with such job losses as Ireland has seen, more often than not the queues at the dole office each week are packed with fathers and mothers who have lost their jobs and can barely pay the rent, the mortgage, the ESB. And for what? For the continued payments to Europe, the ever increasing measures of austerity, ensuring the survival of the elite class, whose actions threatened that of those beneath them?

Madness has entered the country and our psyche. Wages and benefits are falling rapidly as prices rise. In the background, politicians like Mary Harney have the gall to feebly attempt to justify thousands of euro in salaries and pensions, for their ‘services to the country.’ Services which, when history has finished judging, will amount to little more than a paragraph of brown envelopes and evening soirees with bankers and builders. It’s really surprising that our streets aren’t filled with protestors, mobs baying for blood, the likes of which Paris and Cairo have and are continuing to see. What is it about our country that sees us take cutbacks and austerity measures with little more than a moan or a whimper, after which we roll over and accept, conceding that it may be hard, but sure isn’t it in the best interests of us all? Sure, the students come out in force every once in a while against the student fees. And yes, the Occupy Movement has taken root in Dublin’s Dame Street, slowly spreading across the country. But however noble their intentions, however justified they are, such efforts will never succeed.

I don’t condone violence. Violence, it has been said, is the recourse of the uncivilised man. I also don’t say that violence has never succeeded. The Easter Rising was not fought with placards and tents pitched across the city. Michael Collins did not wage the War of Independence camped out in front of Dublin Castle’s gates.

We can blame Europe. We can curse the names of Merkel and Sarkozy and the day they were born. We can even blast the IMF and those who seek our money and took our sovereignty. And we would be right too. It’s very cathartic. But really we need look no further than Dáil Éireann. Parties come and go, but as is our way, the ethos will never change. Change is never more than skin deep. Those in power will only do what they must to retain that power.

€8 is more than a pack of cigarettes. It’s an indication of where or who the government places value these days. It tells us once again who the government is willing to sacrifice in order to fix the mistakes they and their kind have made. History repeats itself. The sacrifices are forced upon the many by the few.

The 1916 Proclamation set in place the values upon which our country was built. The Republic, it stated, ‘declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation.’

Think about Ireland today. Does that ring true?

Not anymore.

Betrayal,Austerity and Pain-The Road to Ireland Losing It`s Freedom

Ninety five years ago a grave struggle ensued that ultimately resulted in Irish independence been finally achieved after 800 years of oppression at the hands of British forces. Now has the centenary anniversary of the Easter Rising in on the horizon, Irish independence and sovereignty has once again been taken away from the Irish people.

Successive Irish governments have continued to fail the people of what in essence was to be a democracy yet the power of the people of Ireland is limited as the scandalous greedy and ignorant politicians exist only to line their own pockets. Cronyism and corruption, two words you can associate with any Irish government in the past twenty years.

Ireland are staring into the abyss, with the situation getting worse than ever before. When Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan agreed to the bailout package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, they threw away everything Ireland had achieved in 1916, with the latter been posthumously credited as a great politician despite his many discrepancies . We are no longer a sovereign political or economic nation, we are now merely a puppet of the European Union. The very fact that we have become the joke of Europe will have turned the graves of many Irish heroes who fought for the freedom of this once great nation.

But now this week, the true extent of Irish misfortunes has been clearly revealed. Budget documents emerge in the German Parliament without any knowledge of our government or so they would have you believe. We are no longer and independent nation, our people have been continuously shafted for what has been described as the greater good. But here we stand knee deep in recession with seemingly no way out. Austerity is the order of the day as the government continues to cut until they can cut no more. There are no ends the Irish government will go to in order to satisfy the EU/IMF and already within their first year of office the coalition have broken many promises. Economic hardship is no longer a threat is a visible reality.

For every hero that ever bled for this nation reads a greedy politician. For every Michael Collins read Bertie Ahern. We are no longer a proud democratic nation, we are now bound to the restraints set by the EU and our government is not answerable to the people but to Merkel and Sarkozy.

The very elements needed to drag Ireland out of this mess have emigrated in search of new hope and opportunity on foreign soil. Many will never return having been betrayed by the cowards in Dàil Eireann and the wanker bankers who have crippled Ireland.

Democracy and Independence no longer exist. Eight hundred years of fighting oppression to achieve freedom has been banished to the history books and now our sovereignty is gone and gone forever.

Government fury over Budget leak

It has been revealed that EU officials have leaked details of Ireland’s budget plans to the German parliament, before Irish TDs had a chance to see anything. Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was left embarrassed and furious when this came to light. When he was asked how, exactly, this important document found it’s way to the German parliament, the Taoiseach simply said “I have no idea”. But it has been revealed that government sources are laying the blame at the feet of the European Commission, as they passed on a document to the German parliament, stating that the VAT rates would be raised by 2pc.

The document, which was presented to the German government states that the Irish government have “decided to focus on indirect tax increases to deliver the bulk of the €16bn additional tax effort required in 2012.

“To this end, the VAT rate is being raised by two percentage points to 23pc, which wil generate €0.67bn.”

This increase would raise €670m in taxes. However, this move has been criticised by consumer lobby groups, who have pointed out that the rise would cause an increase in household bills, and most families would spend less than they have previously spent on other goods.

While the government have vehemently denied that this document contained any budget plans, government sources report that there has been a lot of anger over the fact that the document was given to another country’s parliament.

There has already been a public outcry over the fact that this informatiuon was leaked to Germany, Dermot Jewell, of the Consumer’s Association said that “it beggars belief that the German parliament is told about this before the Dail”.

Finance spokesman for Fianna Fail, Michael McGrath said “if this proves to be true, it would be a staggering and unprecented breach of faith with the Irish people and Irish parliament.

The government has denied that any budget plans were in the document. They are insisting that no decisions were made yet.

Occupy Dame Street:Who We Are

#OccupyDameStreet is a people’s movement, which stands in solidarity with and is inspired by nearly 1000 sister occupations in the evolving global movement initiated by the people of Iceland, Greece, Spain, and Tunisia. We use tactics of non-violence akin to the scenes of peaceful resistance in Tahrir Square and Wall Street. This is a diverse people’s initiative, unaffiliated with any political parties. We are the 99%. We stand together against political and economic corruption. We stand for equality and social justice. This is a “leaderless resistance movement” with people of many nationalities, backgrounds, genders and political persuasions.

 We say to the people of Ireland: if you have ever looked for an opportunity to engage in realistic change, this is the platform. Now is the time when the spirit of the revolt is spreading to other major cities and financial districts around the world. It is the duty of everyone to stand together against the endless greed and corruption on which our financial system is based. 

We reject the complete control of the European Central Bank (ECB) in dictating our economic policy. Our demand is that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stay out of our affairs. We do not want their influence or control. Our demand is that the private bank debt that has been socialised and burdened upon the population of our country who had nothing to do with it be lifted. We will not pay and let our children and their children pay for this crisis that private banks and bondholders have caused. It is their problem, not ours. Our demand is that the oil and gas reserves off our coast that were criminally handed away to private corporations be returned to sovereign control. Our demand is for real, participatory democracy – where the people’s interests come first, where the people decide what happens. 

We do not claim to have a complete list of solutions. We believe, however, that the process is just beginning. The more participation we can build, the more power our decisions will carry. We invite any person to join us, but we ask that they leave their political party at the door.