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  1. #1
    EastGalway EastGalway is offline

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    Irish emigration, foreign exploitation and speculation

    The tone on this board has really changed for the worse this past week. Day in, day out, we've people calling for immigration controls to be imposed on fellow EU citizens, particularly from Eastern Europe.

    What about human and financial traffic in the other direction. Over the past ten years, thousands of Irish people have bought holiday homes abroad. Why is this not an issue?

    Take Spain - the Irish/British craze for suburban development has been exported and huge swaths of land have been covered in Irish-owned McMansions. Their occupants spend a few weeks a year out in their home, don't bother to learn the local language, avail of health and other services without paying tax to support these, and establish parallel societies that have little to do with the majority culture and community.

    Take Germany - the wealthier, cowboy Irish middle-class types are now buying up housing associations and hiking up the traditionally low rents of tenants. In cities where 80 percent of households lived in rented accommodation, Irish speculators are now trying to export the idea of home ownership and pressurising tenants to buy out or get out.

    Bulgaria - speculative Irish types are invading the country and buying up coastal resorts and properties to build houses for Irish customers. Will these double homeowners learn Bulgarian? Like hell they will. Instead, they'll move in and demand that services be provided to them in English like they have done in Spain.

    Croatia - Irish owners have bought up the historic city centre of Dubrovnik, the former owners moving out to the outskirts of the city. During the summer, there are Irish people everywhere, demanding and expecting to have everything presented to them in English. In the winter, they're all back home, leaving their homes boarded up and empty, and as a consequence, leaving the centre of Dubrovnik lifeless.

    Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary - the Irish are all there, really pissing off the locals with their crude, capitalist, speculative, arrogant behaviour.

    A motto for the Ireland of the "we've got a holiday home abroad" - I came, I saw, and I bought the whole flippin' lot.
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  2. #2
    morryah morryah is offline

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    Re: Irish emigration, foreign exploitation and speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by EastGalway
    Day in, day out, we've people calling for immigration controls to be imposed on fellow EU citizens, particularly from Eastern Europe.

    What about human and financial traffic in the other direction. Over the past ten years, thousands of Irish people have bought holiday homes abroad. Why is this not an issue? [/b]
    Do you think maybe you're consciously ignoring (to suit your needs) that
    a. the people buying abroad

    might be different from
    b. the people afraid of losing their jobs to cheaper foreign workers?

    and that's why it's two different issues?
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  3. #3
    FutureTaoiseach FutureTaoiseach is offline
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    I think that you have to understand that going on a holiday is very short term compared to economic migration to the West.
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  4. #4
    EastGalway EastGalway is offline

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    I'm not talking about short term holidays.

    I'm taking about going abroad, buying property and engaging in cut-throat speculative practices which are inconveniencing the citizens of those countries. Take Budapest, for example. Irish speculation in the property market is forcing Hungarians who live, work and pay taxes in that country live out of the property market.

    Local residents in Spain, Hungary, Bulgaria, Berlin etc. are unable to buy property because of the speculation by wealthier, Irish people.
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  5. #5
    sackville sackville is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastGalway
    I'm not talking about short term holidays.

    I'm taking about going abroad, buying property and engaging in cut-throat speculative practices which are inconveniencing the citizens of those countries. Take Budapest, for example. Irish speculation in the property market is forcing Hungarians who live, work and pay taxes in that country live out of the property market.

    Local residents in Spain, Hungary, Bulgaria, Berlin etc. are unable to buy property because of the speculation by wealthier, Irish people.
    up to 1/3 of house purchases in the last year were by 'non-nationals' keeping up house price inflation here along with the demand that immigration itself is causing. so we have a similar problem here too. You seem to be arguing that the capitalist system shafting joe blogs here is more excusable than it happening elsewhere.
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  6. #6
    EastGalway EastGalway is offline

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    Not at all.

    I'm just exposing double standards and blatant hypocracy.
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  7. #7
    ibis ibis is offline

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    Seems like a fair trade. They come here and take our jobs, we go there and take their houses.

    At the risk of sounding left-wing, isn't this basically a cyclical process - Irish employers need labour -> we get immigrants from Eastern Europe ->Irish employers make profits -> they speculate in Eastern European property -> Eastern Europeans who can no longer afford housing decide to emigrate...
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  8. #8
    martan martan is offline

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    Re: Irish emigration, foreign exploitation and speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by EastGalway
    The tone on this board has really changed for the worse this past week. Day in, day out, we've people calling for immigration controls to be imposed on fellow EU citizens, particularly from Eastern Europe.

    What about human and financial traffic in the other direction. Over the past ten years, thousands of Irish people have bought holiday homes abroad. Why is this not an issue?

    Take Spain - the Irish/British craze for suburban development has been exported and huge swaths of land have been covered in Irish-owned McMansions. Their occupants spend a few weeks a year out in their home, don't bother to learn the local language, avail of health and other services without paying tax to support these, and establish parallel societies that have little to do with the majority culture and community.
    I don't own any property in Spain.

    Take Germany - the wealthier, cowboy Irish middle-class types are now buying up housing associations and hiking up the traditionally low rents of tenants. In cities where 80 percent of households lived in rented accommodation, Irish speculators are now trying to export the idea of home ownership and pressurising tenants to buy out or get out.
    I don't any property in Germany. Or Housing associations anywhere.

    Bulgaria - speculative Irish types are invading the country and buying up coastal resorts and properties to build houses for Irish customers. Will these double homeowners learn Bulgarian? Like hell they will. Instead, they'll move in and demand that services be provided to them in English like they have done in Spain.
    I don't any coastal resorts or have any investments in Bulgaria.

    Croatia - Irish owners have bought up the historic city centre of Dubrovnik, the former owners moving out to the outskirts of the city. During the summer, there are Irish people everywhere, demanding and expecting to have everything presented to them in English. In the winter, they're all back home, leaving their homes boarded up and empty, and as a consequence, leaving the centre of Dubrovnik lifeless.
    I've never been to Croatia much less bought property there.

    Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary - the Irish are all there, really pissing off the locals with their crude, capitalist, speculative, arrogant behaviour.
    I've never been to any of these countries. Have you?

    A motto for the Ireland of the "we've got a holiday home abroad" - I came, I saw, and I bought the whole flippin' lot.
    You're an idiot. Go exercise your middle-class guilt somewhere else.
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  9. #9
    Reece Reece is offline

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    Re: Irish emigration, foreign exploitation and speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by EastGalway
    ..we've people calling for immigration controls to be imposed on fellow EU citizens, particularly from Eastern Europe.
    Nothing wrong with that, most countries have processes and procedures through which they control the inward movement of people. Many here, some would argue the majority, are unhappy with the controls in operation here, a view which they are legitimately entitled to hold and on which to express an opinion. If Politica.ie is a 'sounding board' for public opinion, particularly among young people, then there are many in this country who are soundly 'pissed-off' with the current situation.

    Over the past ten years, thousands of Irish people have bought holiday homes abroad. Why is this not an issue?
    Why should the invest choices of Irish people be an issue – unless you are attempting to draw an analogy between foreign investors and economic migrants.

    Take Spain - the Irish/British craze for suburban development has been exported and huge swaths of land....
    To describe the semi-desert areas converted to the classic ‘Urbanization’ of the costas as ‘land’ probably leaves much to the imagination. The scrubland created by creeping desertification of the millions of acres in the south east of Spain, regarded as a disaster by the people who worked this area for generations, has now become the focus of the selling of a ‘lifestyle’ to the affluent Northern and Western Europeans. The ‘extranjaros’ from Bermingham, Bohola or Bremerhaven have facilitated the ‘miracle’ of the Costas.

    The occupants...avail of health and other services without paying tax to support these....
    The average owner of a Spanish property, in the main modest 70-100 sqm two-beds etc, pay at least three Spanish taxes and four service charges, no matter how often you visit the property. They are:
    Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI) – Annual Real Estate tax paid to the Local Authority
    Impuesto Extraordinario sobre el Patrimino – A Wealth Tax on all your assets and property in Spain
    Property Owners Imputed Income Tax – An assumption of income from a property.
    Capital Gains of 35% for non-residents and 15% for residents, if you sell your property (Currently under investigation by the EU for discrimination against non-residents)

    That’s not all, you then have the local Community Charges paid by property owners in an estate for cleaning of the swimming pool, local security, grounds maintenance. Utilities standing charges must be paid and as a non-resident you are advised to employ a fiscal representative, usually a lawyer, to make sure all your taxes are up-to-date, a service for which he/she charges, naturally. EU citizens are entitled to certain health benefits but the wise ex-pat or frequent visitor takes out additional medical insurance available locally through different agencies.

    Take Germany - Bulgaria – Croatia - there are Irish people everywhere, demanding and expecting to have everything presented to them in English - Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary - the Irish are all there, really pissing off the locals with their crude, capitalist, speculative, arrogant behaviour…they'll move in and demand that services be provided to them in English like they have done in Spain.
    No they don’t and no they won’t – If you go to a police station in Spain you better have an interpreter with you – the same applies to Eastern Europe. However this situation is changing as English – the most widely spoken of the Germanic tongues – becomes the second language of choice around the world.

    The Irish abroad? - I must say that once I made it clear that I was not British in general, and English in particular, attitudes softened. Everyone loves the Irish!!
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  10. #10
    Libero Libero is offline
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    The problem with one-sided thread topics like this is that they are not constructive, though I can understand EastGalway's frustration.

    Sure, there are many negative sides to overseas property investment by the Irish "RoboPaddies". EastGalway does a colourful job canvassing some of them.

    But pure 100% criticism, without any mention of the upsides and benefits, is not very helpful at reaching a reasoned conclusion.

    And there are upsides and benefits. The chief one relates to the situation at home, where many people (from big investors to ordinary Joes) have an insatiable thirst for property. They want to pour everything they have, along with all they can borrow, into bricks and mortar. It will all end in tears, as it did for the Japanese and so many others, but has already caused massive rises in property prices.

    Naturally these rises have had their own downsides, principally the "pricing out" of the market for other normal but less property-crazed Irish people. My point is that without all of this overseas investment into property, our own bubble would be even more insane.

    Budapest, Croatia and all the other places have acted as a real pressure release for our own property market and we should be thankful for it.

    In addition, we are not that big a country - even though our spending abroad is disproportionately high, especially in hotspots like Budapest. In other words, we aren't having THAT much of an impact. And we'll have even less of an impact when all the property at home depreciates and Irish people cannot use it so readily as a source of funding for overseas property investment.
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