Thursday, October 07, 2010

Still the world's richest banana republic

One day's news selection in Ireland --

Item 1Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has confirmed to the Dáil that a garda file on an alleged criminal gang, which was being prepared for presentation to the Director of Public Prosecutions, was brought to a photocopying shop for printing.  Dermot Ahern said the file was left unattended for a period of time, during which time a member of staff at the shop communicated with a third party without the consent of An Garda Síochána.

Item 2The Department of Health and the Health Service Executive have said they cannot complete investigations into controversial spending on foreign travel associated with the SKILL training fund, because the relevant documentation is with SIPTU [trade union] ...However, the union said it had nothing to do with the account and believes it has no liability in respect of money under investigation

Item 3Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has said the Department of Enterprise has not yet decided whether or not the so-called 'leave and return' scheme introduced at Aer Lingus two years ago qualifies as redundancy. ... Under the 'leave and return' scheme, 715 staff who left the airline with generous redundancy packages were re-employed within weeks on lower terms and conditions.   Both Aer Lingus and SIPTU [ed note: same union as above] have insisted the redundancies were genuine. The unprecedented redundancy deal had huge implications for the taxpayer   If it qualified as a genuine redundancy, the airline was entitled to a State rebate for part of its redundancy costs, which was potentially worth millions.   Staff would also get favourable tax treatment of the package called 'top slicing'.

Item 4Former European Commission [and Irish finance minister] Charlie McCreevy has resigned from the board of London-based NBNK Investments.  Earlier this week, a spokesman for the European Commission confirmed that the Commission's ethical committee was examining Mr McCreevy's appointment as a director of the company.

Item 5Meanwhile, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern has told the Dáil that the investigation into Anglo Irish Bank will be the most complex in the history of the State. Mr Ahern said the DPP has retained two senior counsel and one junior counsel to advise the investigators. 27 gardaí and 16 officers of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement are involved.

And that's just one day.

Our original banana republic post.

Photo: Andrei Niemimäki, Turku, Finland.

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