IRELAND news (took EU-IMF loan) Ireland to take EU-IMF loan
November 18, 2010 The governor of the Central Bank of Ireland said Thursday he expects his debt-crippled country to accept a loan worth tens of billions of euros (dollars) soon from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Patrick Honohan made his frank assessment as forensic accountants and financial specialists from the EU and IMF landed in Dublin to identify the size of the hole in state and bank finances and the measures needed to reassure markets that Ireland won't default on debts.
Those doubts have risen since September when Finance Minister Brian Lenihan raised the government's estimated cost of bailing out five Irish banks to at least €45 billion ($62 billion).
That gargantuan bill has driven Ireland's 2010 deficit to 32 percent of GDP, a post-war European record. Ireland is planning a four-year austerity plan, including a 2011 budget with €4.5 billion in cuts and €1.5 billion in new taxes, in response.
Honohan, speaking in Frankfurt where was attending a meeting of the European Central Bank board, said he expected the EU-IMF loan — if approved by the Irish government — to provide a financial "buffer" for Irish banks that would not be used. He compared it to similar U.S. moves in 2008 to inject banks with cash that reassured investors and was eventually repaid.
"It's true that our banks need additional confidence. ... There have been substantial outflows of capital from Irish banks since April," Honohan said in an interview with Irish state broadcasters RTE.
As foreign investors have withdrawn or failed to renew deposits in Dublin banks, the ECB and Irish Central Bank have filled the gap with loans estimated to total €130 billion.
The ECB's lending to Ireland has grown in recent months to represent nearly a quarter of the Frankfurt bank's total lending in the 16-nation eurozone.
An EU-IMF cash injection would be designed to reverse the foreign outflow of capital.
Honohan said it was "desirable that the (Irish) banks should have more capital available to show to the markets: Look, this is beyond question."
The governor, who is independent of the government, said he expected Ireland and the EU-IMF delegation to agree terms and conditions on a loan worth "tens of billions" that "will be made available and drawn down as necessary."
"The capital is probably not required at all," he said, adding it would most likely be "shown but not used." It "goes in as buffer and comes out again when it's not needed."
The talks in Dublin could last days and will be held with Ireland's Department of Finance, Central Bank, National Treasury Management Agency and other agencies.
VACCINES Are DANGEROUS
After Ukraine took IMF loan, they had many deaths from the H1N1 virus which mutated into a hemorrhagic form.
WARNING by Joseph Moshe Monashe said vaccine is a genetically engineered H5N1 (NOT H1) Bird flu vaccine as a lethal biological weapon.
(I need to add what a friend told me, unverified - she said the 2010 vaccine contains actual pig blood.) [/size]
Posted <*))))>< by
ZionsCRY NEWS with prophetic analysis
Irish Republic to get bail-out loan, says central bank
18 November 2010 NOT GOOD, NOT GOOD
Irish Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan has said he expects the Irish Republic to accept a "very substantial loan" as part of an EU-backed bail-out.
Mr Honohan told RTE radio he expected the loan to amount to "tens of billions" of euros.
The final decision will be up to the Irish government, which has said it has not agreed to a loan from Europe.
The comments come as a team of international officials meet in Dublin for further talks on the debt crisis.
Representatives from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the EU will meet the Irish government, which says it has not even asked for aid.
Mr Honohan said that any loan would be substantial.
"It'll be a large loan because the purpose of the amount to be advanced or to be made available to be borrowed is to show that Ireland has sufficient firepower to deal with any concerns of the market. That's the purpose of it," he told RTE.
But the Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, when asked about those comments said merely that the governor was entitled to his view.
Mr Cowen said he did not want to "pre-judge" the outcome of the talks.
An EU handout would be seen as a big loss of face for the Republic - essentially meaning that its survival and solvency were reliant on Brussels.
But BBC business editor Robert Peston said that in terms of Irish resistance to a bail-out, this was "game over".
"The Irish government could not conceivably go against the advice of its [eurozone] partners and its central bank," he said.
Were it to do so, commercial customers of Irish banks would accelerate withdrawals which would be devastating, he said.
BBC Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson added that it could be "a fortnight until we see what these loans look like".
'Matter of sovereignty'
Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told the BBC it was for the Irish government to determine whether it needed a bail-out.
Brian Cowen: 'We're looking at what the best options are both for Ireland and for the euro'
"It's a matter of national sovereignty within a group that is clearly supportive, that has a joint common good which is our currency.
I trust the Irish government to be extremely sensible," she told Radio 4's Today programme.
"The real issue is: will the economy stand on its feet? Will the euro stand under the current circumstances in Ireland? And that's what the Irish government really has to focus its attention on."
AIB customers withdraw nearly $18 billion - Irish bank says it has had to rely on central bank funding
19 November 2010 MarketWatch
Challenging market conditions have forced Allied Irish Banks to access a range of liquidity facilities from central banks, the lender said Friday, adding that its customers withdrew 13 billion euros ($17.8 billion) from their accounts since the start of the year.
Customers have taken out €13 billion from their accounts year-to-date amid “current adverse international sentiment towards the Irish sovereign and banking sector,” the bank said.
General funding market conditions in recent months have become “increasingly challenging,” which has had a negative impact on AIB’s funding position.
“As a result of prevailing market conditions, AIB has also accessed a range of liquidity facilities from central banks, including certain additional market wide schemes during the period of dislocation within the funding markets,” the bank said.
Run on Allied Irish Banks
Allied Irish lost 17 percent of deposits
Customers Pull 17% of Deposits; Ghost Estates and Broken Lives: the Human Cost of the Irish Crash
November 20, 2010 A slow steady bleed has turned into a mad dash for cash at Allied Irish Banks. Allied Irish Banks has had to rely on Central Bank funding as customers withdraw $18 billion, a stunning 17 percent of its deposit base. Without Central Bank funding, there would indeed be outright panic.
Allied Irish Banks announced Friday it has lost a staggering euro13 billion ($18 billion), or 17 percent, of its total deposit base since June in the latest evidence of cash flight from Ireland's debt-crippled banking sector.
Earlier this month two other banks, Bank of Ireland and Irish Life & Permament, reported suffering losses of more than 10 percent of deposits in recent months.
The cash flight from Irish banks has accelerated since September, when the government raised its estimated bill for bailing out five banks to at least euro45 billion ($62 billion), a figure that many analysts said was still too low.
Officials at Allied Irish said the bank had euro74 billion in customer deposits at the end of June but just euro61 billion today.
Allied Irish was once Ireland's largest business, but it has suffered a spectacular fall since 2008 in line with the collapse of a construction-dependent economy.
Property Boon Gone Bust Sinks Ireland
Read that last paragraph above once again. Note that unlike Greece which was destroyed by public unions, it was a property bubble and irresponsible bank lending that sunk Irish banks.
Inquiring minds are reading Ghost estates and broken lives: the human cost of the Irish crash
They stand empty across Ireland: 300,000 unoccupied homes, a silent reproach to those who built them believing that the country's economic boom would never end.
As Europe's finance ministers laboured in vain to reach an agreement on how to ease Ireland's economic misery last night, the so-called ghost estates were an awful reminder that the
"survival crisis" the politicians were warning was under way had already hit ordinary people.
Dave O'Hara was one of those who bought into the "Celtic Tiger" at the beginning of the decade, eschewing a seven-generation family tradition of carving headstones in favour of a piece of the country's building boom.
He founded a firm that constructed bespoke windows and doors for the thousands of upscale homes being built. The firm grew into a multimillion-euro enterprise, until the recession – and the collapse of the building industry – hit in September 2008.
Now his company is in liquidation, and Mr O'Hara, 41, who has one child, is on the dole. He owes the Bank of Scotland more than 1m Euros (£850,000).
Not far from Mr O'Hara's home, the "ghost estates" are well-known eyesores along the rugged landscape. And the crisis that created them has hit not just the people who built them, but those who might once have expected to move in, as well.
Hundreds of thousands of homeowners have already found themselves saddled with negative equity as a result of the crash, economists estimate, with as many as one in seven families affected.
Personal indebtedness is also an issue, as are redundancy and the end of easy loans, meaning around 100,000 households are struggling to make regular repayments on the money they owe. And yet, house prices continue to fall precipitously.
Together with slumping disposable incomes due to frozen wages and stubbornly high unemployment, still running at more than one in every eight adults of working age, many fear a social disaster is unfolding.
Operating Profits Down
For a bank that is clearly bankrupt and exists only because of life support from the central bank, it is interesting to see the headline Allied Irish Banks says operating profits down
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) said today that challenging economic and market conditions are reducing operating profits overall, and in each of the divisions, relative to the same period in 2009. There has been an outflow of €13bn worth of of deposits in 2010.
Excluding Poland, the loan to deposit ratio at 30th September was 159% compared to 151% at 30th June.
The bank said customer accounts have been affected by current adverse international sentiment towards the Irish sovereign and banking sector and are down by c.€13bn from the beginning of 2010 to the close of business on 16 November. This reduction was primarily due to lower institutional and corporate balances.
Operating income has declined year on year to 30th September 2010, mainly due to lower business volumes, an increase in Government guarantee costs of c.€190m and a lower net interest margin.
The bank said factors reducing its net interest margin this year include lower capital income, lower treasury income, lower income on loans pending transfer to NAMA and higher wholesale funding costs.
AIB said it is continuing to improve margins across non-NAMA loan portfolios and deposit margins, particularly in the Irish market, have stabilised in recent months.
You think this is only overseas?
149 Bank failures in 2010 in USA
Irish, EU, IMF face marathon talks for loan deal
As EU experts dug through the books of Ireland's debt-crippled banks, the question moved from whether Ireland will take an international bailout to under what conditions.
On the firing line was Ireland's prized low business tax, which the government says has lured 1,000 multinationals to Ireland over the past decade — but which it may have to give up to satisfy conditions of being rescued.
The Irish rescue is the latest act in Europe's yearlong drama to prevent mounting debts and deficits from overwhelming the weakest members of the 16-nation eurozone. Greece was saved from bankruptcy in May, and analysts say Portugal could be next in line after Ireland for an EU-IMF lifeboat.
Europe agrees €80bn-€90bn Irish aid
21 November 2010 Financial Times
The debt crisis gripping the eurozone claimed its second victim in six months on Sunday night when European finance ministers agreed to a request from Ireland for a multibillion-euro emergency rescue.
The bail-out is expected to total €80bn-€90bn and will include contributions from the UK and Sweden, according to people briefed on the discussions. But the deal may not be concluded until the end of November because the parties are still negotiating the conditions attached to the aid.
Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, prime minister Brian Cowen said: “The European authorities have agreed to our request. A formal process of negotiation will now commence that will lead to the provision of assistance on the basis of programme to be negotiated by the government with the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund in liaIson with the European Central Bank. I expect that agreement to be finalised shortly, within the next few weeks.”
The package would include a fiscal package on the national budget that would see increased taxes and reduced spending.
“Irish banks will become significantly smaller than they have been in the past, so that they can gradually be brought to stand on their own two feet once more.”
Mr Cowen insisted that the country’s corporation tax, a bone of contention with other Eurozone members, had not arisen as part of the negotiations.
Mr Lenihan, asked about the size of any package, repeated what he had earlier said that the size would not be over €100bn and said that there was no intention that Dublin would draw on the entire sum.
Speaking on Irish radio, he declined to disclose the interest rate the country would have to pay on any EU-IMF loans, but said it would be “a lot less than what we have to borrow at if we went to the world markets”.
A special cabinet meeting in Dublin was due to finalise a four-year plan to stabilise the battered economy, which would involve at least €15bn ($20bn) in spending cuts and tax increases – or about 10% of annual economic output – from 2011 to 2014.
The Irish government’s beleaguered position was underlined by a poll in the Sunday Business Post by Red C that put Fianna Fáil on 17% of first preference votes, less than half the level it achieved at the last general election in 2007.
Irish bailout boost to markets proves short-lived
LONDON (AP) -- Ongoing worries that Europe's debt crisis is a long way from being solved despite Ireland's request for a massive bailout rescue kept investors on edge Monday and sent stocks and the euro lower.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 48.74 points, or 0.9 percent, at 5,684.19 while France's CAC-40 fell 24.76 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,834.40. Germany's DAX was trading 11 points, or 0.2 percent, lower at 6,832.55.
Wall Street was poised for a modest retreat despite earlier signaling a higher opening -- Dow futures were 34 points at 11,135, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 futures fell 4.2 points to 1,194.
Stock markets had been in far better shape earlier -- Asian markets closed mostly higher -- as investors breathed a sigh of relief that some sort of aid package for Ireland is being cobbled together, since they hate nothing more than uncertainty and prevarication. The Irish government confirmed Sunday it is formally requesting a financial aid package to shore up its debt-laden banking sector
The actual details of the package, expected to be not far short of euro100 billion ($137 billion), are not expected for a few days yet as Irish officials sit down with counterparts from both the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The country will likely be forced to make further massive spending cuts and raise its very low rate of corporate tax.
Aside from whether another Irish austerity program will work, especially now that the Green Party in Ireland's shaky government has threatened to withdraw from the coalition unless Prime Minister Brian Cowen agrees to hold an early national election in January, the major worry in the markets is whether another highly indebted euro country starts getting the unwelcome attention of bond investors.
"Now Ireland has fallen, we suspect that the markets will quickly turn their attention to the other embattled peripheral countries, particularly Portugal and Spain," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of private client research at Charles Stanley stockbrokers. "It hardly needs saying, but if Spain were to fall the eurozone crisis would have ratcheted up to such a degree that the regions continued existence as an economic area could be called into serious question."
Those concerns were clearly evident in the currency markets, where the euro gave up the advance it made in the wake of Ireland's request -- by early afternoon London time, the euro was down 0.5 percent at $1.3645. Earlier it had traded as high as $1.3786.
Even if there are no more bailouts, the scale of austerity being pursued in a number of eurozone countries will highlight the divisions in the single currency bloc. While Ireland and Greece, and possibly others, face years of retrenchment, the eurozone's No. 1 economy -- Germany -- will likely continue to prosper due to its exporting prowess.
"Even assuming the best case scenario of no further bailouts, the necessary adjustments required to rectify internal imbalances in the eurozone are deeply deflationary and will quickly become evident by the underperformance of the euro-zone economy," said Derek Halpenny, European head of global currency research at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubish UFJ.
Developments surrounding Ireland should dominate activity in the markets this week, not least because the U.S. will effectively be shutting down from Wednesday onwards as traders head off for the Thanksgiving break.
Earlier in Asia, investors had been cheered by Sunday's aid request from Dublin.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average closed 0.9 percent higher, or 92.80 points, at 10,115.19 while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2 percent to 1,944.34. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 4,643.5.
But Hong Kong bucked the trend, with the Hang Seng index falling 0.4 percent to 23,524.02 amid losses in property stocks after new measures to stem speculation. Singapore's benchmark also fell.
Chinese shares closed mixed in weak trading, as investors awaited further policy moves from the government after inflation last month hit a 25-month high.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent to 2,884.37. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller, second exchange climbed 1.2 percent to 1,313.57.
In the oil markets, benchmark crude for January delivery was up 14 cents to $82.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Associated Press writer Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
Ireland warned it will have to stump up state assets in bailout
Bord Gáis and the Electricity Supply Board, Ireland's motorways, CIE, the national oil reserves, our stake in Aer Lingus as well as the best parts of the Dublin banks and the whole of the national pension fund are likely to be pledged as security in return for the tens of billions of euro in loans the government will receive from the IMF, the European Community and the European Central Bank.
The warning, from markets sources, comes as the talks between the Irish authorities and the IMF-led troika were due to extend through today and into this week. The talks were focusing on ways of limiting the amount of the private banking debts that a generation of Irish citizens will be made to pay for.
But in an investor note this weekend, Société Générale in Paris, which helps sell Irish sovereign bonds for the government, said there were calls from around Europe for Ireland to stump up "collateral" in return for its bailout loans.
"When a developing county is given aid, we can understand why no security is required. Not so when a government has access to reserves, investments and state holdings. We see this aspect of the aid package as a litmus test of how soft on moral hazard Europe might be. We also see a tough onus placed on the government in question to implement serious austerity."
Local economists believe the total size of the open-ended bailout funds could exceed €100bn if the ECB were to demand back some or all of the loans it advanced to the Irish banks in recent weeks. Europe may, however, inch toward a tougher line than the government and burn the private bond holders in the Irish banks. In relation to the IMF?presence, a government spokesman said the "objective there is to access funds for Ireland at a much better rate", adding that currently rates of 8% plus being charged by the markets were prohibitive.
The Sunday Tribune has also learned that, in the days leading up to last weekend, ECB officials made their growing concerns known to Dublin about the open-ended amounts of cash that Frankfurt and the Irish Central Bank were pledging to Anglo Irish, AIB and Bank of Ireland. Leading central bank watcher Lorcan Roche Kelly said that funding of over €165bn had been loaned by the ECB and the Irish Central Bank to all Ireland-based banks by the end of October.
Leading European consultants who have monitored the heave by big states such as Germany and France and now Britain to neutralise Ireland's advantageous 12.5% corporate tax rate say that Ireland has suffered major damage with multinationals considering creating thousands of jobs here. "The comments by the German, French and Austrian finance ministers just cannot be swatted away," said John Hume, of Hume Brophy Consultants in Brussels. The Irish Central Bank has provided more than €34.6bn in emergency funds to lenders, believed to be Anglo, Irish Nationwide and EBS, while Frankfurt separately provided an estimated €90bn to the main lenders and €40bn to banks in the IFSC, according to estimates.
Brian Lucey, associate professor at TCD, said that the open-ended bailout loans, which Ireland may not need to tap, would be huge if the troika wanted to deliver a fund to cover the week-by-week funding of the banks, the banks' additional capital as well as the budget deficits and repay back sovereign debts for three to five years.
Ireland Long-Term Sovereign Rating Lowered by Standard & Poor's
Ireland had its long-term sovereign rating cut to ‘A’ from ‘AA-’ and its short-term rating to ‘A-1’ from ‘A-1+’ by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, which cited concerns about additional borrowing by the government as it seeks external aid from the IMF and the European Union.
“The lower ratings reflect our view that the Irish government looks set to borrow over and above our previous projections to fund further bank capital injections into Ireland’s troubled banking system,” S&P said in a statement.
External aid will “not reduce the government’s large contingent liabilities or eliminate the negative macroeconomic pressures weighing on asset quality,” it also said.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Misguided Ireland Bailout
The EU wants to sacrifice a low-tax state to pay for the Euro-dream.
November 24, 2010 The Irish government is teetering on the brink of collapse.
In a humiliating about-face, the Irish Taoiseach (prime minister), Brian Cowen, yesterday accepted a European Union bailout package that he had claimed Ireland neither wanted nor needed. Protesters immediately decried the “shameful” stitch-up between Irish bankers, politicians, and the EU, and attempted to storm the parliament. The Green party walked out of the ruling coalition, the opposition party demanded an immediate election, and members of the prime minister’s party are considering a no-confidence motion. All of this controversy has horrified the European Union, which assumed the Irish would simply accept the over–$100 billion deal as a fait accompli.
It seems as though Cowen’s countrymen have failed to see the need for the tax-increasing bailout that’s being pushed on the country by eurozone big boys primarily to protect profligate Mediterranean states. European leaders intervened because they feared that “crisis contagion” from Ireland would drive up bond yields in weaker eurozone members like Portugal, Spain, and (whisper it) Italy — the euro domino theory. Since the EU can’t bail out the entire Iberian Peninsula, let alone Italy, such contagion could lead to the dramatic disintegration of the euro.
Moreover, it’s an opportunity for high-tax European states to level the playing field. Throughout the go-go late ’90s, the Celtic Tiger grew by 6 percent or more each year as low taxes — including a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, which is among the lowest in Europe — attracted over 1,000 multinational companies, including Intel, Pfizer, Microsoft, and Google. (Wasteful EU subsidies to Ireland, meanwhile, mostly went into the shrinking agriculture sector, though some also went to building infrastructure in the rural west.)
For decades, these successful low-tax policies infuriated continental Europe, where politicians attacked Ireland’s “unfair competition.” Now, under the conditions of the bailout, middle-class Irish families will lose their tax credits and low-paid workers will be taxed. Also, as a French official has ominously remarked, the corporate tax “leaves room for progress.” France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy was more direct: “Our Irish friends . . . have more room for maneuver than others, their taxes being lower than all the others.”
But unlike Greece, Ireland didn’t come to the EU begging for a bailout. Thanks to sharp fiscal consolidation over the last year, Ireland won’t actually need to sell bonds until the middle of next year — the government is fully funded for the immediate future.
Since the economic crisis, Ireland has tackled its problems head-on, cutting spending and forcing banks to come clean about their losses. Irish officials provided state backing for the banks’ bad debts, causing the country’s much-ballyhooed 32 percent budget deficit. Guaranteeing these debts may have been a mistake — it is unclear how much havoc would have been wreaked by an up-front haircut — but until recently, EU officials were praising Ireland as a “role model” and calling on other countries to “face up to their problems” in a similar fashion.
Ireland’s fatal mistake — the reason it finds itself in this ignominious position — was to adopt the euro. Joining the eurozone encouraged foreign investment, but left the Irish economy subject to interest rates set by the European Central Bank to suit the large German and French economies. Trapped in this euro-straitjacket, Ireland couldn’t raise interest rates to cool its overheating economy, and Irish banks piled into a real-estate bubble that has left them insolvent.
Of course, not all of Ireland’s troubles can be blamed on the euro. Better regulation could have reined in the reckless Irish banks, for example, and generous welfare provisions left the Irish budget dangerously dependent on property taxes. But the country’s bond yields have spiked because of the banks’ insolvency — not because of a Greek-style fiscal meltdown — and it’s hard to imagine that Irish monetary officials would have let the property bubble inflate to such dangerous proportions.
The EU bailout, if it sticks, promises to bring temporary relief to Ireland, but where will the buck stop? Bond-market vigilantes have already turned on Portugal and Spain: The spread between German and Spanish ten-year bonds — a measure of the relative riskiness of the governments’ debt — hit record highs Tuesday, and the spread between German and Portuguese bonds also rose. Also, Greek yields are higher now than they were before the Irish bailout. As Mohamed A. El-Erian, the CEO of PIMCO (an investment-management firm), said, “you cannot fix a solvency problem by putting new debt on top of old debt.”
Irish Relief Fleeting as Day of Reckoning Nears
Borrowing costs for Europe’s most indebted nations are at record highs as Ireland’s capitulation in accepting a bailout of its banking industry stokes concern that other countries also will have to seek aid.
The average yield for 10-year debt from Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy reached 7.57 percent today, a euro- era record. The average premium investors demand to hold those securities instead of German bunds widened to as much as 492 basis points, the highest level of 2010. The average cost of insuring against default by the five nations using credit- default swaps reached a record 517 basis points on Nov. 23.
“It’s no longer taboo to speak about a restructuring,” said Johannes Jooste, a portfolio strategist at Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management in London, which oversees about $1.4 trillion for clients. “The fact that bond yields continue to rise and put pressure on countries that have to fund from the market makes investors less and less confident, and it’s bringing forward the day of reckoning.”
The Nov. 22 relief rally after Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen conceded that the nation needed financial support proved transient. Irish 10-year bond yields fell 4 basis points, before jumping 104 basis points as of 3:13 p.m. in London today, exceeding 9 percent for the first time since 1995. The euro’s respite was more fleeting; the bailout inspired a 0.8 percent gain for the currency before it slumped to a two-month low. It fell 0.9 percent to $1.3247 today.
“When Ireland accepted help, the general feeling in the market was that this could restore some calm; that hasn’t been the case,” said Michiel de Bruin, who oversees about $35 billion as head of European government debt at F&C Netherlands in Amsterdam. “Authorities should be doing their utmost to calm the situation.”
Analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a Nov. 11 report that any move by Ireland to use the European Financial Stability Facility would boost the euro and be a “circuit breaker” for the European sovereign debt crisis. While Ireland has enough money to pay its debts until the middle of next year, it has requested a bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund amid concern the cost of rescuing its banks would overwhelm government finances.
Portuguese Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said in an interview published today that EU governments can’t impose a bailout on his country.
A majority of euro region officials and the European Central Bank are putting pressure on Portugal to accept aid that helps stop contagion spreading to Spain, the Financial Times Deutschland reported today. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the nation isn’t pushing Portugal to seek aid. An official at the office of Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates also denied the report.
The most recent leg of the debt crisis that started a year ago in Greece kicked off after EU leaders agreed Oct. 29 to consider German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s demand for a crisis- resolution mechanism that forces bondholders to share the cost of future bailouts.
The average yield of 10-year bonds from Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy rose to 7.49 percent today from 5.93 percent a month ago. The Stoxx 600 Banks Index of European shares fell almost 7.8 percent in the past month.
Adding to the pressure is the ECB’s push to scale back liquidity support for banks.
“This tough stance is reigniting a euro debt crisis,” Greg Gibbs, a Sydney-based currency strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, wrote in a research report dated Nov. 23. “The recent problems in Europe may relate to fears that weak banks in the periphery will lose access to cheap funding from the ECB, and their deteriorating position will in turn put more pressure on the sovereigns.”
Greece agreed to a 110 billion-euro ($145 billion) rescue program in April before the creation of the 750 billion-euro European Financial Stability Facility in May as a backstop for the common currency. Cowen said this week a bailout of 85 billion euros had been discussed for Ireland.
Policy makers must head off a “spreading disaster” in the euro region, said Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co. “The comforting statements issued by European ministers in recent days must be urgently translated into meaningful actions,” he wrote earlier this week in an article for the Financial Times.
Analysts also say more needs to be done. Portugal should request preemptive steps to stem the widening yield spreads between high-deficit nations’ debt and German bunds, according to WestLB AG.
Bondholders of European banks need to accept “huge haircuts” on their assets, said currency-trading firm FXPro. Germany may pull out of the euro to allow the currency to devalue, wrote Graham Turner, chief economist at GFC Economics, a London-based consulting firm.
“Time is of the essence,” a team of London-based analysts at Nomura International Plc led by Nick Firoozye wrote in a Nov. 24 investor note. “The continued confusing political rhetoric is driving investors out of Europe. Once the euro area issuance cycle gets under way in 2011, unless many of the issues surrounding collective action clauses, crisis resolution mechanisms and their timing have been resolved, policy makers could lose the battle.”
Second Independent Irish lawmaker Healy-Rae to back budget, essentially guaranteeing budget passage.
Reuters reports that the Irish Independent MP Lowry says he will support the 2011 budget. Presumably this means that the Irish budget tomorrow should pass, which is likely good news for the euro as it means the eurozone has bought itself a few more months of breathing room. Or not. Who cares anymore. At this point just one more independent vote is needed to pass the Irish budget vote.
Here are the key excerpts from Lowry's statement, who has decided to effectively end his political career, endorsing a decision that is abhorred by well over half the Irish population (via Irish Times).
“The consequences of not passing a budget would be disastrous for Ireland and its people. It takes experience, political maturity and courage to make the hard decision and do what is right for our country,”
“Despite some adverse reaction in my constituency to this decision I feel duty bound to put the country’s interests first.
“Failure to pass a budget would lead to further economic failure. If our Government and political leaders renege on a vital condition of our agreement with the EU-IMF we will suffer irreparable reputational damage. Such an abdication of governance would attract ridicule and scorn throughout Europe and the international financial markets”.
and here is how the vote is shaping up for tomorrow:
The Government currently has a majority of two in the Dáil, including Mr Lowry and Mr Healy-Rae. If the two Independents abstain on the vote it could be tied. If they vote against it the budget will face defeat unless some Opposition TDs abstain or vote for it.
Ireland: € 170,000 ($228,000) debt per capita
2 December 2010, by Bürgender (Gegenfrage)
(google trans from German) http://tinyurl.com/24pwuxm
Glitch hits Bank of Ireland services
More than 1.2 million Bank of Ireland customers are still experiencing difficulties withdrawing money by ATM, online and in branches.
The bank, which originally said the problem would be resolved at lunchtime, now says it is “hopeful” of getting it sorted out this evening.
A spokeswoman said the problem was caused by a mainframe computer problem which led to customers’ balances being unreadable. The fault has knocked out the bank’s internet and phone banking services.
Customers attempting to withdraw larger amounts of money from ATMs – up to €400 - have been told they have exceeded their daily limit, even in cases where they have not made a withdrawal. There is restricted access to smaller amounts of cash.
The spokeswoman said the problem was caused by an “unforeseen technical issue” which disrupted access to internet and phone banking. This meant that ATMs were working offline and did not have up-to-date information about current balances. As a result, the teller machines severely reduced the amount of cash dispensed to each customer.
“It’s definitely a technical issue, and has nothing to do with money,” she said.
The amount ATMs are currently dispensing varies according to the customer, she said. Only Bank of Ireland customers are affected.
Bank of Ireland debit card holders are unable to withdraw money from any ATM, while customers of other banks are able to withdraw money from Bank of Ireland ATMs.
The glitch has also affected withdrawals from bank branches but credit card purchases with Bank of Ireland cards are not affected. The spokeswoman said some customers were able to withdraw money where they were known to branch staff.
“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience they are experiencing and wish to assure them that we are working with our IT partners to ensure that all services are reinstated as a priority.”
Later this evening rumours then spread that the same ATMs which had been so shy about giving money earlier in the day were now spewing out bills.
Large queues formed at ATM machines after reports the machines were giving out cash even to customers without sufficient funds in their account.
CJ NOTE - Bank of America has had several of the SAME *glitches* during 2010
Moody's slashes Irish debt to 3 grades above junk
17 Dec 2010 Moody's slashed Ireland's credit rating five notches on Friday and warned of further downgrades if the country cannot regain command of its debts and tame its deficit.
Dietmar Hornung, the senior Ireland analyst for Moody's, said it remained an open question whether Ireland could sharply reduce its deficit from its eurozone-record levels while taking tens of billions from a new EU-IMF bailout fund.
Hornung lauded Ireland's deficit-fighting plan to impose euro10 billion ($13 billion) in cuts and euro5 billion in tax increases by 2014 — but nonetheless cautioned that pulling so much money out of an already fragile economy "represents a further considerable drag on the country's recovery prospects."
Moody's dropped Ireland's rating to Baa1 — just three steps above junk-bond status — in a move similar to last week's BBB+ downgrade by rival ratings agency Fitch. The other major agency, Standard & Poor's, cut Ireland two notches to A on Nov. 23 and is expected to drop its grade further in coming days.
While Fitch has put Ireland on a stable outlook, meaning no further downgrades are expected, Hornung said Moody's was keeping Ireland on a negative outlook because it sees more negatives than positives in Ireland's future.
He said Ireland remained vulnerable to further dud-loan shocks in its banks, which invested hundreds of billions in foreign borrowings on Ireland's runaway property market during the Celtic Tiger boom of 1994-2007 — and has suffered catastrophic losses since the market collapsed in 2008.
Ireland that year imposed a blanket guarantee on all Irish banks' debt obligations in a failed effort to keep their funding streams healthy. Ireland has since been forced to nationalize or take major equity stakes in five of the six insured banks — and funded bailouts estimated to total euro50 billion ($65 billion) — as unconvinced investors continued pulling their money out of the banks.
The European Central Bank on Friday agreed a temporary swap facility with the Bank of England that would allow it to provide up to 10 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in liquidity to Irish banks that might need immediate access to the U.K. currency. The British and Irish financial systems are highly exposed to each other.
Ireland's bailout loan agreement reached Nov. 28 in Dublin with the European Union and International Monetary Fund will provide the government a credit line of up to euro67.5 billion ($90 billion) at interest rates averaging 5.8 percent. EU and IMF regulators also permitted Ireland to redeploy euro17.5 billion from its own cash and pension reserves, taking the total bailout figure to euro85 billion.
Hornung estimated that the extra debt financing would drive Ireland's national debt to a peak of 140 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, compared to 66 percent in 2009. That figure is higher than the debt-to-GDP forecasts of many economists.
Investors dumped Irish bonds Friday on news of the downgrade. The yield on 10-year Irish bonds rose to 8.4 percent, a two-week high.
Shares in Ireland's three listed banks — Allied Irish, Bank of Ireland, and Irish Life & Permanent — fell 5.5 percent, 8 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.
Ireland plans to take euro10 billion from the EU-IMF fund immediately to boost the cash reserves at Dublin's five state-supported banks. It has earmarked euro50 billion more to finance its deficit spending through 2014, while the remaining euro25 billion will be kept on standby for further bank-bailout activity.
Ireland has a 2010 deficit of 32 percent of GDP, a post-war European record, but hopes its austerity plans will achieve a reduction to 3 percent by 2014. European officials, skeptical of Irish growth forecasts, already have extended the deadline to 2015 for Ireland to get back to 3 percent, the debt ceiling that eurozone members are supposed to observe.
The European Central Bank pressed Ireland to take an international bailout because Ireland's banks in recent months have grown unsustainably reliant on short-term loans from the ECB. Irish borrowing from the Frankfurt bank surged in the summer after Ireland's initial bank-debt guarantee expired and was replaced by an insurance system that offered less protection to some bondholders.
Allied Irish Banks moves £7.9bn property loans to country's 'bad bank'
20 December 2010 by Harry Wilson (The Telegraph)
Allied Irish Banks has handed over property loans worth €9.3bn (£7.9bn) to the country's bad bank as the lender's debt was downgraded along with that of many of Ireland's other major banks.
Allied transferred the loans to the National Asset Management Agency, the state-controlled toxic debt holder, at an average discount of about 60% to the face value of the debts.
The transfer came as ratings agency Moody's followed up last week's five-notch downgrade of Irish sovereign debt with the downgrade of most of the country's large financial institutions.
Debt issued by Allied, Bank of Ireland, EBS Building Society and Irish Life & Permanent was marked down by between three and five notches by Moody's. The ratings agency added that further downgrades could follow and put a "negative" outlook on the banks' debt.
The downgrades come despite the pumping of €8bn of new capital into the banks as well as a further €25bn in contingency funding that was agreed last month as part of a €85bn bail-out package provided to Ireland by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Moody's downgrades Irish bank ratings
Moody's Investors Service said on Monday it had lowered its ratings on five Irish banks following its downgrade of Ireland's sovereign debt last week.
The agency said that the sovereign downgrade could affect the Irish government's capacity to support the banking sector, which has been struggling with a collapsed property market and the impact of the global finance crisis.
The lenders targeted by Moody's on Monday were Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, EBS Building Society, Irish Life and Permanent and Irish Nationwide Building Society.
The agency last week hit the Irish government with a five-notch downgrade of its debt to Baa1 with a negative outlook, citing increased uncertainty over the country's economy and public finances.
"Moody's concludes that the banks' debt ratings are affected by the downgrade of the Irish government," the agency said in its statement Monday.
"The downgrade of the Irish government to Baa1 reflects Moody's view of the revised capacity of the government to extend support to its banking sector over and above the contingency fund set as part of the EU-IMF package."
The package comprises 67.5 billion euros (89 billion dollars) in external loans and guarantees from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, with another 17.5 billion euros from the Irish government.
Monday's downgrade covered the agency's ratings on bank deposits, senior debt, financial strength and most junior securities.
N. Ireland without water
30 Dec 2010 "Ministers in the Northern Ireland executive met in emergency session on Thursday amid growing concerns that thousands of households across the region that have been without piped water since before Christmas will not be reconnected until next week.
The state-owned Northern Ireland Water company, which has been criticised by customers and politicians for its handling of the crisis after a thaw led mains pipes to burst, said that while more than 30,000 households, of which half are in the greater Belfast area, had their water supply disrupted on Thursday, only 6,000 remained cut off.
But tens of thousands of other households whose mains pipes had not been damaged nonetheless had their supplies curtailed as the company rationed water from its reservoirs, which have been depleted by the volume of leaks.
Five residential areas in Belfast had their supplies reduced for long periods on Thursday, and NI Water published a list of 89 other towns where it was repairing mains pipes damaged during the cold weather..."
Water chaos affects thousands in Northern Ireland
28 December 2010 Thousands of homes and businesses in Northern Ireland are still without water, some since before Christmas.
Northern Ireland Water said it was alternating supplies from reservoirs in a bid to give every area a limited supply, causing more interruptions.
It has warned that the drought could last for several more days.
Belfast City Council has opened three leisure centres to distribute drinking water, while free showers will be available on Wednesday.
NI Water said an unprecedented number of leaks caused by the thaw have been putting "big pressure" on its systems.
Many people have complained that it is impossible to get through to a helpline (08457 440088).
Among the areas worst hit are Belfast, Armagh and Coleraine.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said it was not good enough that some people had been left without water for so long.
"Obviously under the terms of the Financial Act that we put in place some time last year, the most vulnerable in our society - those that have been most badly affected by all of this - will have the right to make claims," he said.
"I think there will be a willingness on behalf of the Executive to ensure that the most deserving cases are supported financially."
Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy said he had been in contact with NI Water about the problems.
"I have been speaking to the chief executive of NI Water and they have assured me that they are working flat out to try and resolve all of these problems," he said.
As Irish ECB Borrowings Surge, The Country's Bank Run Picks Up Speed
30 December 2010 Following the publication of the monthly Central Bank of Ireland flow statistics for November, that the country's bank ended up borrowing another massive amount of capital from both Europe and the central bank itself, should not be surprising.
After all it was in November that Ireland followed Greece into the insolvency abyss, a place where none other than Olli Rehn guarded the gates to feudal hell.
However, one much more troubling factor is that the depositor run from Irish banks, a development which many have cited as potentially being the catalyst for the next major step down in the European house of cards tumble, is accelerating. From the report: "Deposits from the Irish resident private sector were 6.7% lower on a year-to-year basis in November 2010.
The annual rate of change in deposits from Irish households was minus 4.5%, whereas deposits from Irish NFCs fell by 14.9% on an annual basis in November.
What this means simply said, is that as more deposit capital is withdrawn from Irish banks, the more they will need to rely on ECB and ICB funding, the more distressed they will be perceived as, the more capital will be withdrawn and so on... But that is a 2011 story.
Euro's stability at risk in referendum
30 Apr 2012 DUBLIN, Ireland - The Irish government launched its campaign Monday to secure public support for the European Union's fiscal treaty, and warned that rejection could ravage Ireland's financial future and destabilize the euro currency.
Pro-treaty campaigners began erecting posters in central Dublin as the government legally confirmed May 31 as the date for its referendum on the fiscal treaty. The agreement among 25 of the EU's 27 nations is designed to rein in deficits across the continent and underpin confidence in the euro.
Ireland is the only euro member subjecting the treaty to a referendum and cannot ratify it without majority voter support. Government leaders say rejection would deal most damage to Ireland itself but send shockwaves throughout the 17-nation eurozone.
"This treaty is about stability for the euro. Everybody knows how important it is that there is a secure euro," said Eamon Gilmore, Ireland's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, as he unveiled his own Labour Party's referendum posters. They pictured an Irish flag against a blue sky and the slogan "It's about STABILITY — vote YES."
Ireland may need second bailout
May 18, 2012 Ireland's bailed-out banks may need as much as €4 billion more loan loss provisions than assumed in stress tests last year, which could "tip the balance in favor" of the country requiring a second aid program, Deutsche Bank said in a report today.
"A new, even modest, increase in capital requirements could deter sovereign investor participation and tip the balance in favor of the sovereign requiring a second loan program," said Deutsche Bank analysts David Lock and Jason Napier.
The government's plan to introduce new personal insolvency laws creates "risks", even as politicians and the financial regulators seek to avoid widespread residential mortgage debt forgiveness, the bank said.
"Although resilient during 2009 and 2010, mortgage arrears have risen sharply over the past year, house prices are continuing to fall, market liquidity is limited, and over half of customers are now in negative equity," said Deutsche Bank analysts in the report.
"We fear the size of negative equity balances for some mortgage holders may greatly reduce their incentive to cooperate, pushing them towards default."
Thousands march for abortion rights in Ireland
17 Nov 2012 DUBLIN — About 10,000 people marched through Dublin and observed a minute's silence Saturday in memory of the Indian dentist who died of blood poisoning in an Irish hospital after being denied an abortion.
Marchers, many of them mothers and daughters walking side by side, chanted "Never again!" and held pictures of Savita Halappanavar as they paraded across the city to stage a nighttime candlelit vigil outside the office of Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
The 31-year-old, who was 17 weeks pregnant with her first child, died Oct. 28 one week after being hospitalized with severe pain at the start of a miscarriage. Her death, made public by her husband this week, has highlighted Ireland's long struggle to come to grips with abortion.
Doctors refused her requests to remove the fetus until its heartbeat stopped four days after her hospitalization. Hours later she became critically ill and her organs began to fail. She died three days later from blood poisoning. Her widower and activists say she could have survived, and the spread of infection been stopped, had the fetus been removed sooner.
Ireland a step closer to rejecting the value of motherhood and fatherhood
15 Apr 2013 When the Constitutional Convention voted in favour of same-sex marriage at the weekend, Ireland took a step closer to rejecting the right of a child to have the love of both a mother and a father where such are available.
The Convention heard a great deal about the love two men or two women can have for one another and the legal benefits they cannot access because they cannot get married.
It spent less time discussing the distinct and complementary roles of men and women as mothers and fathers and when it did discuss the matter, took the view that the roles are not distinct and complementary at all.
By logical extension it also took the view that the natural ties don’t matter either. It will always be the case that any child raised by a same-sex couple will be raised by only one of its biological parents.
Therefore, if same-sex couples have the same rights as opposite-sex couples to have children, then we must treat the natural ties as being unimportant as well.
This flies in the face of all evidence. We know, for example, that adopted children often go looking for their natural parents in later life.
We know from the evidence that all other things being equal, the best environment for a child is to be raised by their own biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.
We do not know from the available evidence whether children will suffer by comparison if raised by a same-sex couple because the available evidence suffers from serious methodological flaws.
We can therefore only base decisions on what we know, and what we know is that the natural ties do matter and that the roles of mothers and fathers are distinct and complementary. (For more on this, see here)
But the Convention, in its rush to be ‘tolerant’ has rejected this evidence and has thereby brought Ireland closer to the day when it will turn its back on the notion that a child has a right to a father’s love and a mother’s love.
This willingness to declare that motherhood and fatherhood have no special value is being led by our politicians who made up a third of the delegates at the weekend.
One of those politicians was Children’s Minister, Frances Fitzgerald. It is truly an astonishing turn of events when a minister for children is willing to sign away a child’s right to be raised by a mother and a father.
April 4, 2014 Bomber blows himself up after forgetting to change clock to Daylight Savings Time.
A suicide bomber made headlines in Iraq when he blew himself up accidentally during a training demonstration. But an Irish terrorist bomb detonated early after he forgot to spring forward to daylight savings time.
He was seen running from a blast scene with blood dripping down his face. The bomb, which had detonated under a Volvo SUV moments earlier, had apparently gone off an hour earlier than intended.
Police say is linked to criminal activity not terrorism.
Suspected Ebola Case in Ireland Tested NEGATIVE
August 22, 2014 The public health department was made aware earlier today of the remains of an individual, discovered early this morning, who had recently travelled to the one of the areas in Africa affected by the current Ebola virus disease outbreak.
The suspected case is in Donegal in northwest Ireland. Test results are expected late on Friday.
Test results for Irish man Dessie Quinn for the Ebola virus have proved negative, I
The Lord had said to Abram, Go to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.
Genesis 12 Supporting Palestinians is cursing Israel.
Irish vote to curse their land
December 9, 2014 - Irish government to accept motion to recognize Palestinian state.
The motion calls on the government to "officially recognize the State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital, as established in UN resolutions.
The Irish govt will accept a motion calling on parliament to recognize Palestine as a state.
European countries have grown frustrated with Israel building homes for Jews on their own land.
Sweden recognized Palestine, and parliaments in Spain, Britain and France held votes in which they backed non-binding resolutions in favor of recognition. Ireland called on the government to formally recognize Palestine.
Calamity called a Palestinian state
I think saying the 1967 borders actually means the 1948 border,
which would be impossible for Israel to defend.
Mentioning Israel Banned from Holocaust Memorial Day
December 13, 2014 - Organizers of the Holocaust Memorial Day January 27, 2015 decided to ban any mention of Israel at the event. The trustees have instructed the host of the Shoah memorial event in January not to refer to the Jewish State or the State of Israel during any part of the ceremony.
6 million Jews and thousands of Christians were killed in Hitler's holocaust - which in my opinion bought and paid for the state of Israel - and Israel is not to be named - at this event?
This is an OUTRAGE!
Corrie ten Boom was in one of Hitler's hells.
She wrote several books, among them The Hiding Place and Walking in the Light.
Europe anxious to get rid of Israel
December 12, 2014 There is something shameful in the speed with which Europe, which expelled all the Jews and almost choked off its holy seed, now turns against Israel.
In Ireland, taking the name of Israel means becoming a war criminal. A popular Dublin restaurant no longer stocks Israeli goods. The leading Irish supermarket chain SuperValu removed the Israeli carrots from its shelves. It is the same everywhere in Europe: Israel is disappearing from European shelves.
Meanwhile, Jews are raped in Europe’s houses and on its streets. A French Jewish girl was raped last week by an Arab gang in Créteil, where one fourth of the population is Jewish. It was the latest terror attack on the world’s third largest Jewish community by French Muslims. But the French authorities are playing with rhetoric and grand words.
Anti-Semitism is driving the Jews away from France. And Jews belong in Eretz Israel, not in Paris.
In Europe today there is a kind of anxiety focused on how to get rid of Israel.
13 Pro-Gay Bakers Refuse Christian Cake Order
Theodore Shoebat, communications director for Rescue Christians, recently completed an experiment to determine if gay bakery owners would fill an order for a cake that featured the slogan “Gay Marriage is Wrong.”
Shoebat was inspired to complete the experiment after hearing about a Christian-owned bakery in Ireland that is facing legal action for refusing to make a cake with a picture of Bert and Ernie with the words “Support Gay Marriage.”
Charisma News reports that Shoebat called 13 bakeries that are owned by homosexuals and asked them to make a “Gay Marriage is Wrong” cake for a traditional marriage appreciation event. All 13 bakeries refused the order and one owner used foul language against Christians in response.
Shoebat said, "A Christian making a homosexual cake with 'Support Gay Marriage' goes against his faith and a homosexual putting 'Gay Marriage Is Wrong' goes against his faith as well. Now of course we honor their right to say no, this is not the issue, but what about honoring the Christian right to also say no?"
The Bridge to HELL is 1 way -
and so is today's 'TOLERANCE'
Russian bombers disrupt planes
March 5, 2015 - Russian bombers that through Irish-controlled airspace without warning in February.
Two Russian aircraft were flying with their transponders switched off.
Ireland has accidentally legalised ecstasy, ketamine and crystal meth for one day only
Ecstasy, ketamine, and hundreds of other drugs are currently legal in Ireland for one day only thanks to an accidental loophole in the law, The Journal reports.
Ireland's 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act was found unconstitutional by the Irish Court of Appeal on Tuesday morning — meaning that the drugs currently prohibited in it are legal.
Drugs that are currently legal in Ireland reportedly include ecstasy, crystal meth and ketamine. So-called 'legal highs' are also no longer prohibited, along with more than 100 other drugs, according to News Talk.
Heroin, **** and cannabis are not affected.
The Irish government is now preparing emergency legislation to fix this loophole. But despite sitting late tonight to do so, the law "can only take effect on the day after its signed into law," according to The Journal, meaning ecstasy will remain legal in Ireland until 12AM Thursday at the earliest.
The Irish government has released a statement admitting that while it "does not affect existing laws regarding the supply, possession or sale" of heroin, **** and cannabis, "it does affect the possession of certain newer psychoative substances."
Opportunistic drug dealers should still be wary, however. "We are advised that the sale and supply of psychoative substances remains an offence under existing legislation," the statement adds.
Here's the full statement:
High turnout seen favoring Yes in Irish gay marriage vote
By Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish voters turned out in droves to cast ballots in a gay marriage referendum on Friday, with the high turnout likely to favor the Yes side seeking equality just two decades after the country decriminalized homosexuality.
With the once mighty Catholic Church's influence ravaged by child abuse scandals, opinion polls indicated the proposal would pass by as much as two-to-one, making Ireland the first country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote.
Irish national broadcaster RTE said it appeared to have been one of the highest ever turnouts for a referendum in the country, with turnout likely to reach 60 percent in Dublin. Only 39 percent voted nationally in an unsuccessful bid to abolish the upper house of parliament in 2013.
"It's looking as if there's a strong vote in urban areas, which would be more beneficial to the Yes side," said Mattie McGrath, one of just two of Ireland's 166 members of parliament who campaigned for a No vote.
May 23, 2015 - Irish people vote for same-sex queerage, and curse the nation.
Final results will be announced later May 23.
A referendum to constitution in Ireland on whether to legalise same-sex 'marriage.'
Early indications are that the measure will pass.
Do not have sex with your sister
Do not have sex with your neighbor’s wife
Do not sacrifice your children to Molek (abortion)
Do not have sex with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
Do not have sex with an animal
Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways,
even the land was defiled so the land vomited out its inhabitants.
If you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
USA granting rights and practices to HOMOSEXUAL SIN
results in the land itself rising up against the peoples in the nation!
Fire at Dublin Airport, All Flights Suspended
August 26, 2015 - A fire broke out at a Dublin, Ireland airport.
All flights to and from the airport are currently suspended.
Blaze at Dublin airport contained, all flights suspended for 1 hr
A fire has been contained at a hangar of the Dublin airport after the blaze prompted the suspension of all incoming and departing flights for about an hour.
Ireland to open 'medically supervised' heroin injection rooms
Drug users in Ireland will soon be able to safely inject heroin at supervised rooms in Dublin, the minister in charge of National Drugs Strategy has announced, adding that there is a “strong consensus” that drugs should be decriminalized throughout the country.
Speaking at the London School of Economics on Monday, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said that users will be able to use the rooms from next year. He said he hopes the cities of Cork, Galway, and Limerick will open similar rooms shortly after Dublin does.
Ireland: Christians, Muslims, Atheists Unite to Push Alternatives to Religious Education
In a rather unexpected coalition, Christians have united together with Muslims and atheists In Ireland to promote separation of church and state in education.
ChristianToday.com reports that the Evangelical Alliance of Ireland (EAI) has joined with Atheist Ireland and Irish Ahmadiyya Muslims to work for alternatives to religious education in schools.
The groups are hoping to do away with the state-sponsored religious education course which is required for students.
All three groups believe such a requirement actually harms religion, as well as the secular state, even though about 85 percent of Irish people identify as Catholics.
The EAI stated that, in opposing the course, it was seeking to “protect children from coercion and discrimination in the area of religious education.”
Michael Nugent, chairman of Atheist Ireland stated, "The minister for education should immediately issue a circular letter informing all schools at second level that the state religious education course is not compulsory and students can choose another subject, and schools should actively inform students and parents about this.”
Imam Ibrahim Noonan stressed the importance of not allowing one particular faith to “have the monopoly in the schools.”
"The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always adhered to the fact that religion and state are two different entities," he said. "Therefore it views that secular knowledge should be given eminence within the school curriculum. The state must recognise the importance of the feelings and sentiments of those who practise a particular faith or belief system, whether that be a religious system or non religious system.”