By Harry Keaney
Irish Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy has published details of the legislation that will mark the end of pounds and pennies in Ireland and the start of the euro.
The Economic and Monetary Union Bill aligns Irish monetary law with the European Union’s legal framework for the circulation of euro notes and coins. The bill provides for the setting of a date between Jan. 1, and June 30, 2002, for “the withdrawal of legal tender status from Irish pounds and coins.”
Irish companies which wish to denominate their capital structure into euros before the final changeover on Jan. 1, 2002, will be facilitated by provisions contained in the bill. It states that from next Jan. 1, the Dublin Interbank Offered Rate will be replaced by the European Interbank Offered Rate.
The bill’s explanatory memorandum is available on the department of Finance’s website at: http://www.irlgov.ie/finance/indexemu.htm.
Meanwhile, as to the often asked question as to what one euro will be worth, the answer is that the exact worth will only be known on Jan. 1, 1999. However, many commentators say that as a general guide, it’s expected that a euro will be worth about 80 Irish pence.
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President to open IBO trade show
The president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, during her first official visit to the U.S. later this month, will open the Irish Business Organization of New York’s third annual trade show on June 24 at the 200 Fifth Avenue Club at the International Toy Center, 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.
More than 60 IBO members will showcase their businesses. The exhibition will be open to the public in the grand ballroom from 4-9 p.m.
Meanwhile, the next meeting of the Irish Business Organization of New York will take place today, June 10, at 7 p.m., in the Shelburne Hotel on Lexington Avenue and 38th Street in Manhattan. The guest speaker will be Carolyn Ryan, the recently appointed executive director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, in New York. Ryan was profiled in the Echo after she began her new job a few weeks ago. For information, call (212) 750-8118.
Saturday morning on PBS
“Adam Smith’s Money Game,” currently in its 14th season on PBS, will be featuring “All Things Irish” in its program on this Saturday, June 13, which airs in the New York area at 9:30 a.m. and at other times in 50 markets across the country.
According to a press release from the program-makers, this week’s program will feature an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winner Frank McCourt, and correspondent John DeNatale will talk to Festival Marketing’s Joe Killian about the Guinness Fleadh. The program’s “Personal Best” investment segment will focus on the booming Irish economy and will give tips on investing in Irish stocks. For information on the program, call (212) 829-5741.
Motorola’s plans arouse concern
Motorola is to shed 15,000 jobs worldwide, an announcement that raised concern in Ireland where the company employs 1,600 people. Motorola’s chief executive, Christopher Galvin, has, according to published reports, until early next year to show the Motorola board that the wireless communications giant on a comeback trail. Motorola has been hit by a collapse in demand for its cellular phones and pagers in Asia, pricing wars in most segments of its chip business and a loss of market share to competitors.
U.S.-based Telecommunications International is to increase its stake in Princes Holdings, the multi-microwave distribution system operator which is 50 percent owned by Independent Newspapers.
Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania recently led a technology trade mission to Scotland and Ireland.
In Northern Ireland, Gov. Ridge and his delegation made what was described as “a job-retention visit” to Galen Holdings, the Ireland-based high-tech pharmaceutical firm. Gov. Ridge met with Galen Holdings Chairman Dr. Allen McClay and chief operating officer Alan Armstrong to discuss the Irish company’s current Pennsylvania investment and its potential for future investment. Gov. Ridge said his visit was Pennsylvania’s way of saying thank you to Galen for investing in the people and future of Pennsylvania. Gov. Ridge last September dedicated Galen’s North American clinical trial services division in Audubon, Montgomery County. CTS has created 114 jobs there and will create a total of 200 jobs within three years.
McClay confirmed that Galen plans to expand CTS in the future.
After leaving Northern Ireland, Gov. Ridge and his delegation traveled to Dublin where the governor met with Ireland’s minister for education, Michael Martin, to discuss potential technology partnerships between Pennsylvania and Ireland.
Gov. Ridge also met with Ennis Chamber of Commerce, in County Clare. Ennis is a model Hi-tech community and has been called Ireland’s information-age town. Gov. Ridge earmarked $2 million in the new Pennsylvania state budget to create similar hi-tech communities in the state.
The governor also addressed the Ireland-United States Council for Industry and Commerce, met Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and attended a Pennsylvania reception at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.