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Der Euro in Europa - Irland

Irland - Ireland


The number of Irish redundancies in 2002 hit a 14-year high. Over 25,000 people were laid off in 2002, according to the Irish government. This is 28 percent higher than the number of people made redundant in 2001. The unemployment rate in 2002 was 4.4 percent, up from 3.9 percent the previous year and it is forecast to rise to 5.1 percent in 2003 (OECD).

Price rises
An ICM poll in November showed that 91 percent of Irish people believe that prices have gone up since the introduction of the euro. A survey commissioned by the Irish Times published on 11 September 2002 shows that 93 percent of Irish people believe that food prices have gone up since 1 January 2002. A report carried out by the Consumers’ Association of Ireland showed that the average price of a basket of 31 goods in supermarkets surveyed by the CAI has increased by 5 percent, with the biggest hikes being 21 percent for 6 eggs and 7 percent for a litre of milk. Ireland is now one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

Because Ireland has the wrong interest rate, its inflation is spiralling out of control. In December 2001 inflation was 4.2 percent but the introduction of the euro pushed this up to 4.9 percent in January 2002. Inflation stood at 5 percent in December, an 18-month high and more than twice the level of the Eurozone average. Even does not tell the whole story as increases in electricity charges, health insurance and local authority charges, amongst others, have not yet taken effect.

Spending cuts
The Irish Finance Minister is cutting public spending by €1.7 billion to improve its budgetary position and adhere to the Stability and Growth Pact.

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