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  1. #1
    Orbit v2 Orbit v2 is offline

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    Conned - what the Germans think of us

    ‘Conned’: a German view of Ireland - European News | Latest News from Across Europe | The Irish Times - Sat, Jul 06, 2013

    The truth about what happened to this country is bad enough without having to fall back on the lazy unchallenged assertions in this piece originally published in the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung last weekend, reprinted in today's Irish Times. There isn't a single alternative or opposing view expressed in it. The author tried to contact Tony O'Reilly (of Providence Resources) apparently and didn't bother contacting anyone else it seems, when O'Reilly didn't reply. The enormity of what actually did happen to our banks, is obviously sufficient to view other controversial issues with a particular slant - a slant that it has to be said is widely expressed on the Internet (on sites like this), but I think the readers of Sueddeutsche Zeitung deserve a bit better than that.

    Here are a few facts that the author might not know, but which would have exposed the issues raised as somewhat more complex than how he presented them.

    The big difference between Ireland and Norway with respect to oil, is not the licensing regimes. It is the fact that Norway had lots of oil in locations easy to extract, whereas Ireland's unknown amount of oil (none of which has been extracted) is in locations where it's very difficult to extract.
    Even the oil companies concede that Ireland is surrounded by massive riches.
    Who would this be now? Providence Resources pumping up their own finding because they need investment? Because nobody else is saying that.

    Ireland also has a legacy of over 100 dry exploration wells requiring more generous terms to kick-start an exploration industry. It's all very well for some commentators like Fintan O'Toole to argue we should leave the oil in the ground. While that is an arguable position, there can't really be any debate until we get past the lies and disinformation.

    The author quoted a fisherman in relation to the loss of fishing resources when we joined the EU. It's probably true that the Irish fishing industry was sacrificed in favour of other sectors like agriculture. But, it's another thing entirely to make questionable (and almost certainly wrong) comparisons between the amount of money we lost over fishing, and the amount we gained from the EU.

    Lastly, the banking crisis is not the worst thing happening to Ireland right now. Two thirds of the increase in our national debt will be due to borrowing money to fund entitlement spending since the crisis begun, and only one third of it due to the banking catastrophe. This more than anything probably explains the the docility of our reaction to the crisis (so far). Simply put, there hasn't been large scale austerity in this country.

    If anyone has been 'conned' here, it's the German readers of Sueddeutsche Zeitung. They'll have to go somewhere else for better analysis of Ireland's troubles.
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  2. #2
    stakerwallace stakerwallace is offline

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    Rename your post to what the Sueddeutsche Zeitung thinks about Ireland.
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  3. #3
    LamportsEdge LamportsEdge is offline
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    'Only a third of our debt being due to the banking catastrophe'. So casual. The Zeitung piece in my opinion is very accurate and points to the Irish people being conned by a kleptocracy. I agree with them.

    As for Providence Oil are you aware of the system of deferred taxation Providence and other companies in this area use?

    What about the sweetheart deal given to exploration companies unrivalled in the rest of the world? In a world where fracking is going on on land and technology improves all the time oil exploration off the Irish coast is not insurmountable but what appears to be insurmountable is the challenge of ensuring the exchequer gets something out of any viable find. That is the interesting bit about Irish negotiation around exploration deals.

    Does your calculation of 'entitlement spending' include the cost of running Ireland's kleptocracy or does it flounder somewhere down around social welfare spending which actually has a reason for existing?

    The German readers of Suddeutsche Zeitung in my opinion are better informed about the state of Ireland in one article than our mainstream media have managed in a lifetime.

    Let's see whether the Irish Ambassador in Germany has the balls to challenge this article- and with what materiel. On a point of order I note that comment 'only a third of our debt' attributable to the banking catastrophe after we have incurred costs of some 80billion in a country with a GDP of 30-odd billion is an understatement of Cardiffian proportion.

    And we still do not have a list of Irish politicians who obtained soft loans from these banks and compromised themselves in the process. When we get that we can talk more about the Irish kleptocracy and the banking crisis.

    Please bear in mind the current Minister for Finance himself appears to have been one of these 'bondholders' to whom the state apparently owes so much.
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  4. #4
    ergo2 ergo2 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orbit v2 View Post
    ‘Conned’: a German view of Ireland - European News | Latest News from Across Europe | The Irish Times - Sat, Jul 06, 2013

    The truth about what happened to this country is bad enough without having to fall back on the lazy unchallenged assertions in this piece originally published in the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung last weekend, reprinted in today's Irish Times. There isn't a single alternative or opposing view expressed in it. The author tried to contact Tony O'Reilly (of Providence Resources) apparently and didn't bother contacting anyone else it seems, when O'Reilly didn't reply. The enormity of what actually did happen to our banks, is obviously sufficient to view other controversial issues with a particular slant - a slant that it has to be said is widely expressed on the Internet (on sites like this), but I think the readers of Sueddeutsche Zeitung deserve a bit better than that.

    Here are a few facts that the author might not know, but which would have exposed the issues raised as somewhat more complex than how he presented them.

    The big difference between Ireland and Norway with respect to oil, is not the licensing regimes. It is the fact that Norway had lots of oil in locations easy to extract, whereas Ireland's unknown amount of oil (none of which has been extracted) is in locations where it's very difficult to extract.

    Who would this be now? Providence Resources pumping up their own finding because they need investment? Because nobody else is saying that.

    Ireland also has a legacy of over 100 dry exploration wells requiring more generous terms to kick-start an exploration industry. It's all very well for some commentators like Fintan O'Toole to argue we should leave the oil in the ground. While that is an arguable position, there can't really be any debate until we get past the lies and disinformation.

    The author quoted a fisherman in relation to the loss of fishing resources when we joined the EU. It's probably true that the Irish fishing industry was sacrificed in favour of other sectors like agriculture. But, it's another thing entirely to make questionable (and almost certainly wrong) comparisons between the amount of money we lost over fishing, and the amount we gained from the EU.

    Lastly, the banking crisis is not the worst thing happening to Ireland right now. Two thirds of the increase in our national debt will be due to borrowing money to fund entitlement spending since the crisis begun, and only one third of it due to the banking catastrophe. This more than anything probably explains the the docility of our reaction to the crisis (so far). Simply put, there hasn't been large scale austerity in this country.

    If anyone has been 'conned' here, it's the German readers of Sueddeutsche Zeitung. They'll have to go somewhere else for better analysis of Ireland's troubles.
    Good post. Agree 100%
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  5. #5
    RobertW RobertW is offline
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    The oil is there.

    There can't be any doubt about it.

    As the Germans point out. . . The Irish people won't see a cent . . . Thanks to people like Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke.

    Now why would the likes of Burke sign away everything to the oil companies?
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  6. #6
    LamportsEdge LamportsEdge is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertW View Post
    The oil is there.

    There can't be any doubt about it.

    As the Germans point out. . . The Irish people won't see a cent . . . Thanks to people like Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke.

    Now why would the likes of Burke sign away everything to the oil companies?
    Surely there was a civil servant in the room keeping a scrupulous record of who proposed what for the heroic book of the Republic?
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  7. #7
    YouKnowWhatIMeanLike YouKnowWhatIMeanLike is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertW View Post
    The oil is there.

    There can't be any doubt about it.

    As the Germans point out. . . The Irish people won't see a cent . . . Thanks to people like Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke.

    Now why would the likes of Burke sign away everything to the oil companies?
    The FF philosophy behind that is that you have to take as much as possible away from the public, load it with debt and allocate the profits to privateers. Very much in line with what you can see in the US with the Koch brothers same agenda same political imperative.
    Last edited by YouKnowWhatIMeanLike; 6th July 2013 at 08:29 PM.
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  8. #8
    Orbit v2 Orbit v2 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by LamportsEdge View Post
    Let's see whether the Irish Ambassador in Germany has the balls to challenge this article- and with what materiel. On a point of order I note that comment 'only a third of our debt' attributable to the banking catastrophe after we have incurred costs of some 80billion in a country with a GDP of 30-odd billion is an understatement of Cardiffian proportion.
    an understatement of Lamportian proportion?
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  9. #9
    wombat wombat is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by stakerwallace View Post
    Rename your post to what the Sueddeutsche Zeitung thinks about Ireland.
    It looks more like an IT article about a German article about an IT article
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  10. #10
    LamportsEdge LamportsEdge is offline
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    My point was of course that the OP vastly underestimates the cost of the banking crisis by apparently only counting the cost of servicing the debt to the Troika. A vast sum of money has already been thrown into a black hole under the fake bank balance sheets and a sum we will never get back in any way, shape or form.
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