The Irish want to pay more tax?

As the Irish economy follows the USA into a double dip recession, it appears from a new poll released today that the Irish population will choose higher taxes over control of public spending when the next national election takes place in less then 2 years from now.

The poll puts the Government at just 18% of the electorate’s support (22% when undecideds are excluded) which is in line with the trend since the Irish property bubble exploded in late 2008.

However when deciding between the alternatives to the current administration, the Irish electorate seems to be rejecting the policy of reform of public spending put forward by the Fine Gael group and choosing the higher spending policy of the Labour Party group. This route can only be funded by higher taxes and such a desire by the electorate would make Ireland unique.

However there is a huge contradiction in the poll. While the electorate want a government with a spend&tax leaning, when asked specifically on economic policy a majority would prefer cuts to public spending than increases in taxes.

From a political science point of view it will be every interesting to observe how this contradiction plays out.

The main coverage however is of the relative popularity of the potential new Prime Ministers (Taoiseachs) and how the Labour Group leader, Eamon Gilmore is almost twice as popular as the Fine Gael Group Leader, Enda Kenny and more than 3 times more popular than the current prime minister Brian Cowen.

The full opinion poll can be downloaded here:

Part 1: http://content.tv3.ie/downloads/tv3_national_opinion_poll_23rd_feb2010_part_1.pdf
Part 2: http://content.tv3.ie/downloads/tv3_national_opinion_poll_23rd_feb2010_part_2x.pdf

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Largest ever share offering raises $70Billion

As the B.R.I.C. countries flex their muscles in the ever changing world economy, the Brazilian state oil company, Petrobras has raised a whopping $70 billion in the world’s largest ever share offering.

The cash will help fund the world’s largest oil exploration plan, which at $224 billion for the 2010-2014 period aims to turn Brazil into a major energy exporter.

More coverage of this story is available from Reuters and the New York Times

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France Telecom to buy 40% of Moroccan telco

France Telecom SA announced an agreement to buy 40% of Morocco’s No. 2 telecommunications operator, Meditelecom, as the French telecom giant seeks to boost revenue growth outside of Europe.
Posted in Africa, Europe, Telecoms | Leave a comment

Irish Government to Create Deposit-Only Bank

The dublin government is to split Anglo Irish Bank retaining a deposit-taking unit while winding down the troubled lender’s other activities over time.
The announcement on Wednesday followed an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the plight of the nationalized property lender, which has already received €23bn ($30bn) in state aid to stay afloat.

read more at the financial times: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6f89fe62-bb45-11df-b3f4-00144feab49a.html

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German retailer Aldi to pull out of Greece

German discount giant Aldi is to exit the Greek market, with the retailer saying that it is now in talks with several parties to take over its 38 Greek stores. Reports from Greece suggest that the company is said to feel that its operations there are ‘not sustainable’, with management taking the decision to suspend all future expansion and sell off its existing portfolio of outlets. Aldi (Sud) entered Greece in November 2008, with its first stores in the capital, Athens, opening in autumn 2009. It said last year that it planned to open 20 stores in 2010, along with a second distribution facility, however, it has come no-where near the reported target of 100 stores. In particular, analysts said that Aldi had struggled to compete with Lidl on price, while it had also not succeeded in attracting the large German expat community to its stores. With the Greek exit the first ever market withdrawal in Aldi Sud’s history, the company is now expected to focus on existing markets.

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Irish Company changes Scottish soccer sponsorship strategy

Tennents Lager, owned by Irish Company C&C Group PLC, has announced that it is to end its 36 year relationship with the Scottish Football Association (SFA) the governing body for Soccer in Scotland.

Instead the Irish company has announced that it is to sponsor both rival Glasgow Soccer clubs, Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers.

Glasgow Celtic has a long relationship with Ireland and is, in fact, owned by Irish Billionaire Dermot Desmond, however it is the first time in the history of rival club Glasgow Rangers that it is to be sponsored by an Irish Company.

The company had already announced the three-year shirt sponsorship agreement with Celtic and Rangers, however it only yesterday announced the end of the SFA deal

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Yahoo announces 87% profit growth results

Yahoo has announced profit growth of a whopping 87% on 1% revenue growth for the first quarter of 2010 versus the same period in 2009.

Yahoo’s Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz said:

We had a good quarter, delivering income from operations higher than our outlook. Thanks to our efforts, our search share has stabilized, and we grew display advertising by 20% year over year. More importantly, guaranteed display grew by 24% as advertisers took advantage of the science, art and scale that only Yahoo! can offer.

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