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Taoiseach Enda Kenny visualised himself riding on the crest of an imaginary wave during his recent St Patrick’s Day mission to the States.
At a conference in Austin, Texas he was pleading with young emigrants, as well as those living in Australia and Singapore, to return home to a country emerging from an “economic swamp” and becoming a “magnetic attraction” for innovation.
Mr Kenny would have done far better to emphasise the facilities we have here to attract foreign investment and the creation of jobs.
He is well aware the facts and figures on the employment registrar are as much ‘plastic surgery’ as true reality. Hundreds of professional and technically qualified people remain unemployed and are forced to leave.
We are still in austerity — the only boom being a mythically created one because a general election is on the horizon. Fear of mass repossessions is sparking a major overhaul in solvency service rules. There are 38,000 residential mortgages more than two years in arrears and the banks are planning 1,000 repossessions a month. Almost 90 per cent of the unexciting number of jobs created here in the past year were in Dublin or environs.
After all the euphoria about the opening of the massive €185 million Glanbia Milk Plant at Bellview, Waterford, to process 700 million litres of milk and contribute €400 million annually to the economy, the ‘super-automated’ plant will only employ 70 people on a permanent basis.
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