Monday, June 29, 2009

If you think we've got problems, spare a thought for Ireland

Occasionally I get fed up of 'Today' or Five Live and resort to Terry Wogan during my morning journey. Today I took an even larger leap and listened to RTE Radio 1's 'Good Morning Ireland' on 252khz long wave. Now that was an experience!

The Irish economy is in a worst state than ours, with the IMF saying it will contract by 13.5% over 2008 to 2010. The government is having to look for a further 5 Billion Euros' worth of spending cuts (which may well involve cutting social benefits - including child benefits!) on top of 13 billion of cuts already made. And the IMF are breathing down their neck.

On a positive note, the abalone industry is booming! Yes, I had to look it up too. But RTE had a little report from Bere Island in County Cork, where they have a factory farming abalones (photo below). These taste a bit between an oyster and a scallop apparently. In a restaurant in London you can pay £80 for a bowl of abalone-based soup. The producer said that ideally, a full grown abalone should be "about the size of a rugby player's ear".

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