Analysis > Tony Connelly

Apple, Ireland and the Spanish connection

Ireland is waking up to a legal and moral quagmire over the Apple tax bill. The big question is this: will Ireland appeal the decision, and what are its chances of winning, whatever about the political fallout from turning down €13 billion from Apple? RTÉ’s Europe Editor Tony Connelly looks at the Apple ruling and the possible impact of a similar case involving Spanish bank Santander. The Government has already been sharpening the axe with some of the most stridently …

Endgame: Can the Syriza-Troika gap be bridged?

By Tony Connelly, RTÉ Europe Editor, Athens Within hours of Syriza’s stunning electoral victory the gulf between popular expectation in Greece and official generosity in Brussels and Berlin grew alarmingly. Addressing jubilant supporters in the centre of Athens on victory night, party leader Alexis Tsipras declared: “Greece is leaving behind catastrophic austerity, fear, authoritarianism.  It is leaving behind five years of humiliation and grief.” By contrast, the message from eurozone finance ministers in Brussels just over 12 hours later could …

Tax probe could upset the Apple cart for Ireland

By Europe Editor Tony Connelly The European Commission’s salvo against Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland is the most serious assault yet on the Government’s long-standing defence of the country’s tax system as it affects overseas companies. The investigation does not deal with the 12.5% corporate tax rate per se, which has always been eyed with suspicion by several large member states. Furthermore, the Government insists it operated within the law in all its dealings with the US computer giant. Nonetheless, …

Not quiet on the Western Front: Why Cameron will go down fighting

Tonight 28 EU leaders will symbolically mark 100 years since the outbreak of World War I by gathering in the West Flanders town of Ypres, the centre of intense fighting a century ago. They will meet first in Flanders Field, the impressive museum in the centre of the city, before walking to the Menin Gate for the Last Post ceremony.

The Long and Winding Road: The struggle to secure a bank debt deal

The odds on Ireland securing a full-blooded bank recapitalisation using Europe’s €500bn  ESM bailout fund now appear low. Time and politics have moved on since the eurozone summit of June 2012, when Taoiseach Enda Kenny secured the promise of help for Irish banks.

This Time is Different? How the euro crisis will impact on the European Elections

This week’s European elections are taking place amid unprecedented uncertainty over the European project. The electorate is in a sour mood, the mainstream parties are fearful, and pro Europeans fear that a surge in support for the extreme right and eurosceptic parties will lead to Tea Party-style politics, and ultimately gridlock, in the next legislature, further damaging the reputation of the assembly. Yet the parliament itself is exuding more self-confidence than ever before over its powers, which have risen steadily …

In the Shadow of the Fleet

By Europe Editor, Tony Connelly Alexei Alexeivich puts on his Soviet naval cap and strikes a pose in front of his bedroom mirror. With a sheepish grin, which breaks into an infectious laugh, he pulls in his 59-year-old paunch.  The rest of the uniform, he concedes, no longer fits him, but the memories of 27 years serving the USSR by sea are as fresh as ever.

What Russia wants, and what the West can do

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Simferopol Although the referendum on Crimea’s future is not until 16 March, Russia’s actions are already birthing a new creation. The speed of Moscow’s invasion-by-stealth has been breathtaking.

Crimea on a knife edge

By Tony Connelly, RTÉ Europe Editor As Russia intensifies its grip on Crimea, they are creating facts on the ground. But in this most surreal of struggles, facts are never what they seem. At the Perevalnoye naval base, there are two layers of militia preventing access in or an exit out, but many more layers of truth and myth over who is in charge, who are the heroes and who are the villains.

Latvia joins club of 330m Europeans using euro

  By Europe Editor Tony Connelly The euro has had so few ringing endorsements over the past four years that the accession of Latvia to the single currency on 1 January must feel like manna from heaven.