For Ireland, end of bailout won’t mean end of austerity
Ireland’s finance chief says the country’s exit from its international bailout this week should be celebrated as a eurozone triumph, but won’t mean an end to austerity for the debt-battered Irish.
On Sunday, Ireland officially ends its reliance on a 67.5 billion-euro ($93 billion) loan program that European governments and the International Monetary Fund provided in 2010 to save the Irish from national bankruptcy.
Ireland is the first country in the 17-member eurozone to regain economic sovereignty after a bailout, in contrast to Greece, Cyprus and Portugal.
U.S. wholesale prices drop on lower cost of gas and oil
U.S. wholesale prices dropped in November for the third consecutive month, pushed down again by cheaper gasoline and lower home heating oil costs. But excluding volatile energy costs, inflation was mostly stable.
The producer price index, which measures prices before they reach the consumer, declined 0.1 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday.
Both consumer and wholesale inflation have been running extremely low in the past year.
Casino operator won’t build ‘EuroVegas’ resort in Spain
Casino operator Las Vegas Sands on Friday scrapped plans to build a “EuroVegas” resort near Madrid after the Spanish government rejected as illegal concessions demanded for the investment.
The company, led by 80-year-old American tycoon Sheldon Adelson, had proposed a $30 billion project that was to include 12 hotels, six casinos, a convention center, golf courses, theaters, shopping malls, bars and restaurants.
The government in Spain, where unemployment stands at 26 percent, had hoped it might create some 260,000 jobs, especially among the young, where unemployment is around 50 percent. But the plan had been fiercely opposed by many who feared the resort would lead to a change in non-smoking laws, promote prostitution and provide only low-paying jobs.
Holiday season shaping up as prime car-buying time
If the spirit of giving – or of treating yourself – has inspired you to buy a car this holiday season, you’re in luck. Many local auto dealerships are overflowing with sedans, trucks and SUVs, so there are deals to be had.
Most dealers have abundant supplies of 2013 models, and 2014s are arriving as automakers keep factories humming. Since dealers pay interest on money borrowed to buy the cars, they’re probably anxious to sell them soon.
– From wire service reports