Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα economic growth. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα economic growth. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 02, 2015

Τρίτη, Ιανουαρίου 06, 2015

Beijing city raises subsidies for scrapping polluting vehicles

Beijing car owners with emissions-heavy models can now earn more money from scrapping their vehicles after the city raised its subsidy for doing so by an average of 2,000 yuan (321.8 US dollars), environmental protection authorities said Tuesday.

According to the new plan, owners who used their vehicles for more than six years and disposed of the vehicles at least one year earlier can receive an average of 8,000 yuan subsidies. The highest subsidies for cars will reach 8,500 yuan, and 21,500 yuan for heavy duty diesel vehicles.

The plan is to be effective throughout 2015 and 2016.

Owners who trade in their old vehicles for new ones will receive another subsidy for purchasing new cars.

Old-vehicles used for more than 10 years with high pollutant emissions are still running on the road, said Li Kunsheng, with the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

"They are the target of our pollution monitoring work," he said.

The new plan is to be announced in detail soon, according to Li, and all vehicle-owners who scrapped their vehicles after Jan. 1 are qualified to apply for the new plan.

Beijing's average PM2.5 density in 2014 dropped by four percent compared with 2013, but some pollutants rebounded, said the municipal environmental protection bureau earlier this week.

The average density of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, was 85.9 micrograms per cubic meter in 2014, compared with 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013, the bureau said in a statement Sunday.

The reading was still 1.5 times higher than the national standard of 35, which was set by the State Council in 2012.

As part of efforts to curb pollution, Beijing reduced coal use by 2.6 million tonnes to keep it below 19 million tonnes. The capital also removed 476,000 outdated vehicles from roads and shut down about 375 factories in 2014.

In 2015, Beijing aims to cut PM2.5 index by around five percent and reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by six percent.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
6/1/15
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Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 12, 2014

Pope Francis urges G20 leaders not to forget the poor

Pope Francis has called on G20 leaders not to forget the poor, saying to do so would be "regrettable" as the heads of the world's most powerful economies prepare to meet in Australia.

The Group of 20 leaders are expected to sign off in Brisbane this weekend on a pledge to boost the level of their combined economic output by at least two percent above the currently projected level in the next five years, creating millions of jobs.
In a letter to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who holds the G20's rotating presidency, the pope said world powers "must not forget that many lives are at stake behind these political and technical discussions".


"And it would indeed be regrettable if such discussions were to remain purely on the level of declarations of principle," he said in the letter, sent on November 6 but only made public on Wednesday.

"There are far too many women and men suffering from severe malnutrition, a rise in the number of the unemployed, an extremely high percentage of young people without work and an increase in social exclusion which can lead to criminal activity and even the recruitment of terrorists."
He said he hoped the talks would mark a step towards "eliminating the root causes of terrorism, which has reached proportions hitherto unimaginable; these include poverty, underdevelopment and exclusion."
"It has become more and more evident that the solution to this grave problem cannot be a purely military one, but must also focus on those who in one way or another encourage terrorist groups through political support."
The pontiff said he hoped to see "a substantial and productive consensus" on boosting growth and jobs that took into account "real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of unacceptable inequality". Each country is expected to submit its detailed reform plans to achieve the growth goal in Brisbane, with an emphasis on private sector financing to spur infrastructure investment.

In his letter, the pope also warned about the impact on the environment of "unbridled consumerism" while speaking of the "unbearable humanitarian situations around the world", pointing to the Middle East.
"I take this opportunity to ask the G20 member states to be examples of generosity and solidarity in meeting the many needs of the victims of these conflicts, and especially of refugees," he said.
"The situation in the Middle East has revived debate about the responsibility of the international community to protect individuals and peoples from extreme attacks on human rights and a total disregard for humanitarian law."
Pope Francis emphasised the need to protect people from abuses in the financial system, referring to the transactions that led to the global recession in 2008 as a "less evident but equally real and serious" form of aggression against human rights.
"Responsibility for the poor and the marginalised must therefore be an essential element of any political decision, whether on the national or the international level," he said.
 http://indian.ruvr.ru

12/11/14
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Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 15, 2014

82 Million Chinese Live on $1 per Day

Over 82 million of China’s residents are surviving on a daily income of $1 despite China's meteoric economic growth and rising export volumes, the Strait Time reports.

“The poverty-stricken population not only suffer from low income but also face various difficulties in getting drinking water, roads, electricity, education, medical care and loans,” said aChinese official Zheng Wenkai, cited by South China Morning Post.

According to the news source, poverty remains a ever present burden for most of the Chinese population. China's rural residents average 2,300 yuan ($368) a year or about $1 a day.


China’s economic boom has not only resulted in the emergence of private wealth and the middle class, but also has contributed to a widening gap between the rich and poor. The situation in rural areas is especially critical as villagers can get their income only from home-grown supplies and agricultural activities. Incomes of city-dwellers are reported to be three times higher than those of people living in the countryside, as the website of the Borgen project says. Rural areas are also often affected by natural disasters and lack access to electricity, water and healthcare facilities, also having negative impact on its residents’ wealth.

Thus, despite China’s status of the second-largest economy in the world, the Chinese population suffers from poverty and significant income disparities.

The country’s GDP reached only $6,767 in 2013, less than 13 per cent of that of the United States, the Global Times reports.
Read more: http://indian.ruvr.ru/news/2014_10_15/82-Million-Chinese-Live-on-1-per-Day-4531/

15/10/14
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Δευτέρα, Μαΐου 26, 2014

China will destroy 5,000,000 cars this year to battle air pollution (Polluting vehicles to be scrapped)

China is going to make air cleaner by taking 5.33 million ageing cars off its roads, according to a government document. The move is part of a broader campaign for battling deep environmental crisis that’s gripped world’s second-biggest economy.
The vehicles in question are so-called ‘yellow label’ cars that do not meet Chinese fuel standards and are thus meant to be ‘eliminated’ this year, the Chinese State Council document published on Monday and cited by Reuters, says.
Chinese authorities, spurred by overwhelming public outcry, have lately boosted efforts for tackling the growing ecological crisis, a byproduct of decades of massive economic growth amid neglect for environmental protection.

The plan for cutting the number of old vehicles is part of a broader action plan to cut emissions over the next two years. Chinese authorities say the country had not been able to catch up with its pollution reduction plan for 2011-2013 period and now had to come up with some tougher measures. 

In Beijing, 330,000 cars will be disposed of, while 660,000 will be taken off the streets of the neighboring Hebei province, home to seven of China's smoggiest cities in 2013.
The document does not specify how exactly the process of getting rid of old cars is going to be implemented. Car owners who agree to have their old cars scrapped could be getting subsidies, as was earlier done by Beijing municipal government, which offered sums between 2,500-14,500 yuan (US$400-2,300) to those ready to say goodbye to their ageing vehicles.
The level of the hazardous airborne particles known PM 2.5 in Beijing air is over four times the daily level recommended by the World Health Organization. A third of all PM 2.5 in the air of the Chinese capital comes from vehicle emissions, according to Beijing’s environmental watchdog.
"Many vehicles have problems and many didn't even meet the standards when they came out of the factory, and fining them on the streets isn't the way to solve this problem," Li Kunsheng, director of the Vehicle Emissions Center of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, told Reuters......http://rt.com/news/161528-china-destroy-millions-cars/
26/5/14
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  • Polluting vehicles to be scrapped...
The Chinese government announced on Monday that the country will pull 6 million highly polluting vehicles off the roads and scrap them before the end of 2014.

The rule applies to vehicles that do not meet exhaust emissions standards. Of the vehicles to be scrapped this year, 20 percent are in the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin, as well as Hebei Province, all northern regions frequently troubled by smog in recent years.

More vehicles will be scrapped next year, including up to 5 million in the nation's economically developed regions such as the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regions, according to an action plan published by the State Council.

"Strengthening control on vehicle emissions will be a major item on the agenda for the country's energy savings, emissions reductions, and low-carbon development during the next two years," said the action plan.

A report from environmental authorities showed that 31.1 percent of air pollution in Beijing comes from vehicle exhaust.

In addition to eliminating polluting vehicles, experts are calling for the development of less polluting fuel.

According to the action plan, accelerating the elimination of highly polluting vehicles will help China hit several of its green targets for the next two years, including annual reductions of 3.9 percent in energy consumption per unit of economic output, 2 percent in emissions of sulfur dioxide and 5 percent in emissions of nitrogen oxides.

To achieve these goals, the government will also push forward other work such as slashing outdated production capacities, reducing coal consumption, and introducing green technologies that are conducive to emissions control and energy savings.

[globaltimes.cn]
26/5/14

Παρασκευή, Απριλίου 04, 2014

Gas prices in Europe to rise 50%, if it abandons Russia’s supplies. -- Are the economies of European countries ready to supply and consume gas at such a price?

Domestic prices in Europe will go up by at least 50 percent, if it cuts supplies from Russia, according to Russia’s Energy Minister Alexandre Novak.
“Moving away from pipeline transportation of natural gas, construction of terminals and deliveries of liquefied natural gas will lead to an increase in gas prices in Europe from the current $380 per 1,000 cubic metres to at least $550,” Novak said in an interview to the Russia 24 TV Channel.

“And the question arises: are the economies of European countries ready to supply and consume gas at such a price?” the Minister asked.
The US has insisted that Europe needs to urgently cut its dependence on Russian gas, with the US Secretary of State John Kerry saying Moscow shouldn’t use energy exports as a political weapon.
“It really boils down to this: no nation should use energy to stymie a people’s aspirations,” Kerry said in Brussels on Thursday, the same day Russia’s Gazprom increased the price to Ukraine another $100 per 1,000 cubic metres.
On Wednesday the US and EU reaffirmed their plan to move away from Russian gas, stressing that developments in Ukraine “have brought energy security concerns to the fore” .
Meanwhile, Russian energy companies have started to feel the pulse in markets outside Europe, mostly focusing on Asia.
Gazprom talked to Kuwait and Egypt about increasing LNG supplies and hopes to sign a long-term supply deal with China next month. Also, the president of Russia’s oil major Rosneft has toured Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and India. 

Real alternatives to Russia?

While in theory there are some alternatives to Russian gas that include supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar and Nigeria and shale supplies, both domestic and America’s, a more in-depth analysis shows that moving away from Russian gas would be painful for Europe.
A study by Bernstein Research, a widely-recognized Wall Street research and brokerage firm, says that cutting off Russian gas would cost $160 for every single person in Europe. The costs include extra expenses to get rid of 15 billion cubic meters (bcm) of residential and industrial gas demand, a $215 billion investment and additionally $37 billion annually in the form of higher energy bills.
“Like it or not, but Europe is stuck with Russian gas,” the Financial Times quotes Bernstein’s Oswald Clint.
If Europe is really determined to cut its energy dependence on Russia, it needs to take radical measures. This could include switching to diesel power, closing the oil refining industry, reducing gas consumption in heating and adding more ecologically unfriendly coal-fired generation, Clint said.
The "take-or-pay" contracts with Gazprom are another string that could keep Europe within Moscow’s energy orbit. These deals mean a buyer is bound to either buy a minimum volume of energy or pay the supplier a penalty. Under such contracts some of the Europe’s top energy companies including ENI, Edison and RWE are obliged to pay Russia’s Gazprom an estimated $50 billion. Many of these deals stretch beyond 2020, the FT says.
Last week the head of the Duma’s foreign relations committee Alexei Pushkov said that Europe’s“energy independence” plan “is not a prospect for the next few years,” adding that by that time Russia will find alternative export markets. 
http://rt.com
4/4/14
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Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 02, 2014

Europe’s economic and financial outlook and its social impact, growth and banking sector issues on the agenda of the Informal ECOFIN meeting

The two-day informal meeting of the ECOFIN, as well as the 13. Joint ECOFIN / FEMIP Ministerial Meeting, organized by the Geek Presidency in Athens on 1-2 April had a full agenda and Ministers were able to exchange views on a number of key issues affecting Europe’s economy and financial situation.
In particular, Europe’s social problems and their implications for economic growth were discussed, based on a research and policy paper presented by Bruegel, which confirms the link between poverty and unemployment on the one hand and economic growth on the other. There was a fruitful discussion on how fiscal sustainability is negatively affected by social problems, as well as on concrete measures to be taken to address persistent unemployment and social insecurity, which constitute a major problem for the EU.

In conjunction with Central Bank Governors of Member States, Ministers discussed the economic outlook, growth prospects and financial stability in the EU. The discussions highlighted that the macro-economic situation is improving, but that complacency should be avoided. Sustainable growth, growth that tackles unemployment and social challenges will continue to depend on growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and structural reforms.
Furthermore, a very fruitful and constructive discussion and exchange of views took place based on the Commission Communication on long term financing of the economy (adopted on 27 March) and on the High-Level Experts Group (HLEG) Report on SME and Infrastructure financing of 11 December 2013. In this context, Ministers took stock of public and private initiatives at national level to improve access to capital markets, in light of the HLEG final recommendations and examined outstanding issues and public responses both at EU and national levels.
As far as the Preparation of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings and the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting on 10-11 April in Washington is concerned, the EU Terms of Reference were endorsed along with the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC) Statement, which focuses on the economic situation and outlook, policy challenges to strengthening economic recovery in the European Union, progress in financial regulation, and specifically IMF policy issues.
On the issue of banking structural reform, Ministers had the opportunity to hear a comprehensive presentation by the Commission on its proposal on banking structural measures improving the resilience of EU credit institutions. This was the first opportunity for Ministers to listen to the Commission, as well as to the Chair of the High-level Expert Group on Bank Structural Reform, Erkki Liikanen. Before kick-starting the regular legislative work, the Presidency deemed it useful to have an exchange of information and views on this very innovative legislative proposal. A close examination of the legislative initiative will be starting under the Greek Presidency, with meetings planned at working party level, but the work will definitely go well beyond the current semester.
There was also an exchange of views about the state of play on the implementation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, on the basis of an update by the Chair of the ECB's Supervisory Board, Ms Danièle Nouy. The ECB is now steering Phase II of the Asset Quality Review. This AQR exercise will be crucial to deliver a thorough assessment of the degree of soundness of our banking system, especially within the SSM. For that purpose, stress tests will be an essential complement to the AQR. The detailed methodology for the stress tests will be published only later this month.
All in all, there was a good exchange on the SSM implementation, and there was a strong interest in following-up on this exchange when we may take stock of further major developments later in the year.
Ministers had a sort of “stock-taking” exchange on the EU’s Banking Union and on the Single Resolution Mechanism in particular, mainly on the way forward following the agreement reached by the Greek Presidency on this key file.
Moreover, interesting and fruitful discussions took place at the 13th Joint ECOFIN / FEMIP Ministerial Meeting, co-chaired by ECOFIN President, Yannis Stournaras, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, in presence of EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive. Discussions focused on the challenges and levers for sustainable growth and the new strategy of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the Mediterranean: “Roadmap 2020”. Fostering growth and job creation, especially for young people, was a key aspect.
At the press conference, following the conclusion of the two days’ sessions, ECOFIN President Yannis Stournaras highlighted also recent provisional political agreements reached by the Greek Presidency on the Payments Account Directive (PAD) and on the Regulation on Key Information Documents - Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (KID - PRIIPs):
“The agreement on Payments Account Directive (PAD) is an important milestone for the deepening of the internal market and the reinforcement of competition in the financial services to the benefit of consumers”, he said.
On the KID - PRIIPs agreement, Minister Stournaras noted that it enhances investor confidence and protection: “We expect that this new approach of consumer-friendly rules on standards for information about these products will contribute to restoring confidence of investors in the markets, which we consider essential for ensuring sustainable economic growth in the coming years”.

In his overall assessment of the Informal Eurogroup and ECOFIN Meetings in Athens, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras stated:
“I am very pleased. We had very interesting discussions on the economic and financial situation, as well as on the financing of the SMEs”, the backbone of the European economy.
[gr2014.eu]
2/4/14

Πέμπτη, Φεβρουαρίου 20, 2014

Commission presents new European strategy to promote coastal and maritime tourism. -European Commission

The European Commission today presented a new strategy to support coastal and maritime tourism in Europe. Recognising the sector's potential for sustainable growth and job creation, the strategy outlines 14 EU actions to help coastal regions and businesses tackle the challenges they face and strengthen the sector's position as a key driver of Europe's blue economy. These concrete actions are accompanied by a break-down of the tasks that Member States, Regions and industry stakeholders can undertake to complement the EU actions.
The proposed actions include facilitating closer cooperation and dialogue across Europe between all coastal tourism stakeholders, public-private partnerships, promoting skills and innovation, promoting ecotourism, and creating an online guide to funding opportunities to help drive investment. Member States, regional authorities and the industry will be central to the design and implementation of the actions.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Coastal and maritime tourism was identified in our 'Blue Growth' strategy as one of the key drivers for creating growth and new jobs, particularly in our coastal areas which often suffer from high unemployment. As the largest maritime economic activity and the economic backbone of many of our coastal regions it is our responsibility to help this sector develop and prosper."
Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Industry, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Antonio Tajani said: “I consider Tourism a fundamental economic leverage for growth in Europe, around which to build dedicated, consistent and integrated policies. A targeted strategy on coastal and maritime tourism highlights the potential of this important sector of tourism and the role it can play to fight unemployment, in particular among young people".
Despite its undoubted potential, the sector faces a number of challenges which the strategy seeks to address. These include gaps in data and knowledge, volatile demand, high seasonality, a lack of adequate skills and innovation, and difficulties accessing financing. The actions in the strategy unveiled today focus on helping the sector overcome these obstacles and create an environment which will attract investment. At the same time, it will make the sector's activities sustainable, preserve natural and cultural heritage, reap significant economic and environmental benefits, and help make the sector more competitive globally.
Background
Coastal and maritime tourism includes beach-based and nautical, cruising or boating tourism and is an essential driver for the economy of many coastal regions and islands in Europe.
It employs almost 3.2 million people, generating a total of € 183 billion in gross value added for the EU economy, representing over one third of the maritime economy gross product. Tourism is a growing business: in 2013, the number of nights spent in hotel or similar establishments reached a peak of 2.6 billion nights in the EU28, up by 1.6% from 20121.
Unlocking the potential of coasts and seas would contribute to the wealth and well-being of coastal regions and the EU's economy in general, while ensuring a sustainable and long-term development of all tourism-related activities.

Today's strategy will be discussed at a Conference organised with the Greek Presidency on 10 March in Athens, which will bring together authorities and businesses and other stakeholders. Implementation of the concrete actions will follow in the coming months.
For more information........http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-171_en.htm
20/2/14

Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 31, 2013

Report: Climate change may pose threat to economic growth

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Nearly a third of the world's economic output will come from countries facing "high" to "extreme" risks from the impacts of climate change within 12 years, according to a new report.
The Climate Change Vulnerability Index, an annual report produced by UK-based risk analysis firm Maplecroft, found that climate change "may pose a serious obstacle to sustainable economic growth in the world's most commercially important cities."
The index ranked the vulnerability of the world's countries, and the 50 cities deemed most economically important, to the impacts of climate change, by evaluating their risk of exposure to extreme climate events, the sensitivity of their populations to that exposure and the adaptive capacity of governments to respond to the challenge.


It said the combined GDP of the 67 countries classed as facing "high" or "extreme" risks was projected to nearly triple from $15 trillion to $44 trillion by 2025 -- meaning nearly a third of the global economy would be coming under increasing threat from extreme climate-related events. It projected the population of those countries -- currently estimated at more than 4.5 billion -- could exceed 5 billion by 2025.
The index's findings bore particularly bad news for Bangladesh, which topped both lists, with its capital, Dhaka, ranked the most vulnerable city due to its exposure to threats such as flooding, storm surge, cyclones and landslides, its susceptible population and weak institutional capacity to address the problem.
Along with the Bangladeshi capital, the four other cities categorized as facing "extreme risk" from climate change impacts were also located in Asia -- Mumbai, Manila, Kolkata and Bangkok -- and projected to be centers of high economic growth.

"The combined GDP in these cities is forecast to almost triple from US$275 billion to US$804 billion by 2025, representing the greatest combined growth in any of the risk categories," said the report, released Wednesday. The figures, it said, underlined the way in which "cities with some of the biggest economic growth potential are among those with the greatest vulnerability to climate change."
Greenpeace's chief scientist Doug Parr said the report highlighted "just how urgent the need is for the international community to tackle climate change." "Without a binding global agreement the economic and social impact of global warming will be devastating," he said.
"It would be morally negligent for countries with large emissions to ignore the mounting evidence of the impact global warming that shows that some of the poorest nations on the planet will be hit hardest, while those nations who are seeing the first signs of economic growth after years of stagnation will see those gains washed away by consequences of global warming."

On a national level, many global growth markets were extremely vulnerable to climate change, the report said, with important markets such as Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and the Philippines all joining Bangladesh in the "extreme risk" category.
Bangladesh was followed on the list of most vulnerable countries by Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Haiti, South Sudan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, the Philippines and Ethiopia.
The vulnerability of many African countries -- which accounted for 14 of the 20 most at-risk nations -- was partly due to their natural susceptibility to extreme climate-related events such as floods, droughts, fires, storms or landslides. But it was also a consequence of the vulnerability of the population, and the inadequacies of existing infrastructure to adapt to or tackle the problem, due to weak economies, governance, education and healthcare.
Countries in south and southeast Asia, which accounted for one-third of all "extreme" risk nations, were likely to face an increased risk of severe flooding due to projected changes in seasonal rainfall. These would also increase the likelihood of summer droughts, and in turn, declining crop yields. The most susceptible populations in these areas were in areas with high levels of poverty, and where large populations had clustered on marginal land such as flood plains or coastal regions in cyclone-prone areas.

While the majority of small, developing, island nations faced extreme levels of exposure to climate-related events, their populations and infrastructures were deemed less "sensitive," and were therefore generally not considered to be at "extreme" risk overall. One exception was Haiti, where poor healthcare access, weak infrastructure, high levels of poverty and an over-reliance on agriculture placed the country into the "extreme" category.
Maplecroft's head of environment, James Allan, said that identifying where the risks of climate change were going to be highest was "now an imperative for both business and governments."
"Framing the risks in economic terms makes the issue harder to ignore, especially for business, and it may prompt better preparedness planning," he said. "Nothing prompts corporate or political action faster than having to deal with the aftermath of an extreme climate event."
London and Paris were the only two cities ranked as "low risk," while Iceland, followed by Norway and Ireland, were the least vulnerable countries.
In September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its latest assessment report, a benchmark study on global warming involving the efforts of nearly 1,000 researchers around the world. It expressed widespread, rising confidence among scientists the climate is warming, that humans are responsible for at least half of the increase in temperatures since the 1950s.
 cnn.com
30/10/13

Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 04, 2013

A redundant political class in Ireland

by Vincent Cooper*
Politics is dead in the Irish Republic. The Irish parliament, the Dail, is now little more than a rubber stamp for the Troika, the generic name for the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Union, the three powers to which the country is in hock.
Things are bad. Ireland’s debt to GDP ratio is set to reach 122 percent in 2013, above the 120 percent threshold the IMF considers unsustainable. The total debt of the country, according to an Irish Times report, is €192 billion, four times what it was in 2007, with a projected need to borrow a further €34 billion before 2015.

The fact is that Ireland is technically cash-flow insolvent. The country simply doesn’t have the revenue to fund the day to day running of the state. And the projections are for continued borrowing for years to come, with a hope – it can be little more than a hope –that somehow, miraculously, the economy will return to growth.
But with little or no sign of that desperately needed economic growth, emigration of graduates and the unemployed is about the only welfare relief the country has – and at a terrible economic and demographic cost to the future of the state.
Over the past year, 87,000 people left Ireland for countries far afield such as Australia, Canada, and the UK, countries that are now reaping the benefits of Ireland’s expensive-to-educate graduates and tradesmen.
Yet fascinatingly, as those 87,000 people leave the country to find work abroad, the number of immigrants entering the country was steady at 52,700, with 12,400 of these from non-EU countries.
This glaring anomaly of educated and skilled people leaving because of unemployment, being replaced by typically low-skilled immigrants, is not mentioned by the political class. It is mentioned on the streets of Dublin, often in great anger, but no politician will touch it. Political correctness along with the Troika now rule the Irish state.
So even in the midst of financial Armageddon, the numbers entering the country continue at Celtic Tiger levels. Ireland’s welfare entitlements are still very generous, and on any common-sense view of human nature would attract takers. And that seems to be what’s happening.
In north Dublin, for example, over half the applicants for social housing are from immigrants, with over 43 percent of the total being lone parents. While waiting to be housed, all social housing applicants receive rent allowance, with the result that over half of all residential rents in the country are now paid for by the state, or more accurately by the few remaining tax payers.
This socialist policy of state housing support is a lucrative business. One Dublin landlord received €620,000 last year in rent subsidies. On the back of socialist welfare policies, landlords are building wealthy property portfolios - all paid for by the Irish tax payer.
One local councillor from north Dublin broke the rigidly enforced political correctness by talking about ‘welfare tourism’, but quickly back-pedalled and qualified his remark by repeating the well established liberal mantra of how Ireland ‘needs immigrants.’  
So what, if anything, is the Irish government doing about this unsustainable mess, apart from drawing lucrative salaries and gold-plated pensions? The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny is paid more than David Cameron.
Economically the Troika is in charge, and the recent austerity budget - which imposed a swingeing property tax on householders, many of whom are in negative equity - was designed largely to facilitate repaying the country’s debt. The government doesn’t have much option here. It simply has to do what it is told by the Brussels apparatchiks.
The Irish political class, in effect, are reduced to being managers working for the Troika, and there’s virtually no serious political debate in the country about any alternative, such as leaving the euro and devaluing. All political parties, both left and right, give absolute and unconditional support to the euro project.
As Nigel Farage said on Irish radio a few months ago, Irish politicians are "the good boys of Europe. Brussels says jump and the Irish say how high."
Such Brussels worship is unique in the EU. In the UK for example, as in France and other EU states, there is some degree of rational opposition to the EU and to the euro single currency, and these issues often split along left and right lines. There’s no such split in the Irish body politic.
But there is one, highly contentious issue where the Irish political class has dug in and taken a stand - Irish corporation tax rate.
Ireland has one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the EU, at 12.5 percent. This makes the Irish Republic a major corporate tax haven, competing with places such as the Cayman Islands. Many large corporations, including Mit Romney’s Bain Capital Private Equity, use Ireland as a corporate base for tax purposes.
There is unanimous support for this beggar-thy-neighbour policy right across the Irish political spectrum - and for good reason. Thanks to its much resented tax haven status, Ireland pulls in large tax revenues that account for an Irish share of global profits hugely disproportionate to the size of the economy.
But the country risks becoming a pariah state over the issue. Many countries in the EU, particularly the French, are furious at Ireland’s tax haven status. They claim companies such as Google use transfer pricing - routing profits from high tax to low tax jurisdictions - that benefits Ireland and takes from the French exchequer.
With such fierce opposition, it’s difficult to see how the Irish can, in the long run, hold out against French demands for change. So even on the issue of setting its own corporation tax rate, it looks like the Irish political class will eventually have to concede to the power of Brussels. When that happens, along with closer political union, many argue there will be little need for an independent Irish parliament.
Vincent Cooper is a freelance writer
 .thecommentator.com
3/1/13

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...