Topic Archives: Economy

Greek Referendum: “a chunk of undecided voters to fight over.”

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Via the Guardian’s Greece crisis blog.   Another wrinkle for the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, and those agitating on their behalf, to contemplate ahead of the controversial, and confused, on/off/on 5 July referendum in Greece. GPO poll Yes 47.1% No 43.2% Undecided 6.3% (via @euro2day_gr) #Greferendum #Greece #politics pic.twitter.com/xJRr3K2uAC — MacroPolis (@MacroPolis_gr) July 1, 2015

Time for a City Deal for Belfast…

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Last week, LOCUS and I, hosted a City Deal seminar in Belfast which was addressed by Mr Richard Brown, Director of Regeneration Glasgow City Council. He explained that City Deals are agreements that have been negotiated between the UK government and 29 cities in the UK; the city gets new powers in exchange for greater more…

Greece: bitter pills & ill-wills

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Of the grand, ambitious projects embarked-upon on the European continent over the last three decades two highly visible examples were recalled today in Brussels: football’s Champions League and the Single European Currency. Whatever they have in common there is one crucial difference in joining either of these prestigious clubs, in the Euro one can gain more…

“For those who can’t read Greekdebtspeak, well, you’re on your own”

Greek Referendum Question 5 July 2015

With European leaders, including Syriza’s erstwhile ally the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning Greek voters that they will be, effectively, deciding whether or not they want to stay in the eurozone, the BBC takes a side-ways look at the wording of the controversial 5 July referendum the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras suddenly announced at more…

Using data for public good – launch of Detail Data

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NICVA’s relationship with investigative journalism website The Detail began with the reporting on the umbrella organisation’s research paper on The Impact of Welfare Reform on Northern Ireland. Lisa McElherron said she was thrilled to launch the Detail Data project. NICVA had been keen (1) to better tell the stories of the sector they represent; (2) more…

“The exact location of the international boundary between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland through Loughs Carlingford and Foyle remains an issue for determination…”

In January 2012 I suggested there might be some cause for optimism that the unresolved issue of the delimitation of the territorial water boundary between the UK and the Republic of Ireland could be, erm, resolved.  As the then Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, said at the time. Recently the two Governments agreed to address more…

More Greek gamesmanship…

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With the Greek Parliament, and Greece’s creditors in Europe and elsewhere, discussing the latest sudden manoeuvre by the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, via the Guardian’s live-blog, here’s a reminder of Alexis Tspiras’ criticism of ex-PM George Papandreou’s, failed, attempt to hold a similar referendum in 2011. @graemewearden A transcript of @atsipras‘s scathing more…

How to get Martin McGuinness off the hook

Despite the mockery that  greeted it, Arlene Foster’s “phantom budget” has, in the now familiar  phrase of financial crises, “kicked the can down the road,” even as Robinson and McGuinness have been ramping up the rhetoric in the game of chicken.   This has bought time. However, it’s now clear that quite a big road  block more…

Amid all the political gloom, hundreds of new tech startups are quietly creating jobs, boosting exports and revitalising our economy…

I’m a Nolan addict. There, I said it. Recently Nolan Live clipped off an interview with Shaun Woodward where the former SoS spoke of the potential for Northern Ireland to return to violence if Stormont doesn’t get it together over welfare reform. Here’s that 28-minute interview with  Shaun Woodward in full: listen to ‘Ex-Secretary of more…

Coleraine-Waterside Phase 2 contract awarded

With the controversy well recounted over the escalation of costs for the upgrade of this section of railway line, I think I should start this post with a little explanation well known to those of us who have ever been involved in procurement, whether public sector or private sector. Basically, and regardless of the skills more…

IMF to Tsipras: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

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After more of the familiar lies and misdirection yesterday, there were some optimistic noises from Brussels last night as the leaders of Germany, France and Greece met on the side-lines of the EU-Latin America summit.  They were short-lived. Having tried to play the International Monetary Fund, and its managing director, Christine Lagarde, last week, the game more…

Xchange Summer School 2015: bravery in the face of challenge #xss15 (updated with audio from Jo Berry, Patrick Magee, Ann Travers conversation)

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Living through the challenge of austerity mean that the Third Sector in Northern Ireland will “have to show bravery, take decisive action, be willing to change, celebrate diversity and yes, think the unthinkable” according to the organisers of the Xchange Summer School. The sofa set from the inaugural event in Enniskillen has been traded in more…

Northern Ireland & TTIP: Is it Deal or No Deal?

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While nowhere does acronyms like Brussels, one four-letter word has had everyone talking: TTIP, and now in public conscience like few others before it. For clarification TTIP stands for Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is basically Brussels-speak for Free Trade treaty between the USA and all 28 EU countries. Free trade is nothing new more…

“Greece is joining a fairly exclusive club…”

Which ‘club’, exactly, remains to be seen…  If you’ve been having trouble following the twists and turns and lies and misdirection of the on-going Greek financial crisis [Join the club! – Ed] *ahem*  Perhaps some notes on Greece’s Syriza-led Government’s latest reverse-ferret decision to delay Friday’s €300m (£216m) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund, and more…

Experiences of bus privatisation in GB

As threatened a number of times, I’ve finally pulled together this piece on why bus privatisation isn’t all it’s made out to be (cross-posted to my own site, where I’ve included a bibliography) I simply want to walk through the scenarios for privatisation we have seen in GB since 1986 and their pitfalls. Deregulation The more…

Nationalist Parties need to shift away from the “blame the Tories” narrative and embrace the Welfare Reform debate

Nationalism needs a new economic narrative and if you didn’t believe that before, the complete debacle over Welfare Reform is proof positive of the inability to construct a proper narrative on our current economic situation or a long term strategy for fiscal rectitude and a prosperous economy. We are faced at the moment with a more…

Truth or Consequences: the potential impact of un-devolving welfare

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One of the more idiosyncratic aspects of life in Northern Ireland is that the sort of constitutional crisis that would leave most countries in a spate of ear-to-the-radio, markets-tumbling panic, barely passes as newsworthy. The threat of dissolution of the Assembly and the end of the power-sharing Executive is regarded with the same complete lack more…

What’s that got to do with the price of fish? The growing gap between inflation and the perception of inflation

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Last week’s news that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of UK inflation has dipped below zero for the first time since official records began in 1996, and for the first time since 1960 based on equivalent historical estimates, caused a range of reactions amongst commentators and politicians. The Chancellor, George Osborne, was keen to more…