Economy

EU-US Free Trade Agreement: Race to the bottom of the Atlantic

A lot of ink has been spilt in the mainstream media, praising the role a free trade agreement between the EU and the US could play in pulling the two economies out of the crisis they are engulfed in. Richard Bruton outdid himself in the Sunday Business Post on 14 April 2013, claiming “abolishing restrictions in the EU’s services sector alone could boost EU GDP by 2.6%.” Three days later a press release from him claimed that the whole deal could boost EU GDP by a mere 0.5%!

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Behind the stock market surge

In the first week of March share prices surged on the New York Stock Exchange followed by other major exchanges. Does this signify a revival of the global capitalist economy? The Financial Times was quick to note that "little of investors’ exuberance is reflected in core economic data… The US and the UK ended the year stagnant; the eurozone and Japan in renewed recession; the emerging world slowing down". (Stock Markets Defy Economic Woes, 6 March)

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Cyprus: “Refuse to pay the ‘debt’!”

Interview with Athina Kariati, New Internationalist Left (CWI in Cyprus). After months of ‘calm’ the capitalist debt crisis has resurfaced over the banking meltdown in Cyprus, sending financial markets into a spin. EU ministers and the newly elected right-wing Greek Cypriot president have demanded that small savers, ie Cypriot workers, pay €billions for a banking bailout.

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Action Plan 2013 – ‘The Gathering’ writ large

Another year and another instalment in the Action Plan for Jobs from the government. After the self-proclaimed sensational success that was the 2012 action plan, with 92% of its targets being hit, unemployment still stands at over 14%. Self-congratulation is no congratulation.

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Government to privatise pensions?

Joan Burton’s announcement that a universal pension scheme will be established for private sector workers on the surface can be seen to be a step in dealing with the crisis many workers without pensions will face on retirement.

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EU youth guarantee – what is it worth?

Almost one in four young people in the European Union are currently unemployed. In Greece this figure hits 57%, in Spain 56%, in Ireland it is 29%. In total 5.5 million young people are unemployed across Europe and emigration is rife, with people leaving Ireland in numbers not seen since the Famine. In the face of this crisis the European Union has no solution to offer, its latest proposal a ‘Youth Guarantee’ is nothing more than wishful thinking.

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Starbucks pays 35k tax in five years, Google 0.14% tax…

The disgracefully nominal amounts of corporation tax being paid by some of the largest multinationals (MNCs) based in Ireland have come to the forefront of the news in recent months. The right-wing rag The Irish Independent even has had to adopt headlines such as “Google chief: 'I'm proud of tax we pay – it's called capitalism” such has been the incredibleness of the figures.

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Budget 2013 – Together we can defeat austerity

December's budget will see an unleashing of new assaults on public services and living conditions for working class people, writes Paul Murphy MEP. The government and the Labour Party in particular, will declare that unfortunately, there was no other choice. This is a lie.

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