An odd quote

The North-South deal allowing companies in the Republic to set up branches over the Border is great news for the all-island economy. As The Irish Times puts it:

Brian Cowen and Peter Robinson have described a new initiative to potentially transfer thousands of jobs originally earmarked for the financial services sector in the Republic to Northern Ireland as a “win-win” situation for both economies.

Cue much celebratory newstype about the benefits for both sides. But then comes the final two paragraphs:

The International Financial Services Centre, which was established when Charles Haughey was taoiseach, is one of the key successes of the modern Irish economy. It has attracted some of the world’s top financial companies, such as Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan (Chase), Citibank, Amro, and ABN Amro, which enjoy special tax breaks.

University of Ulster economist Mike Smyth said the political ramifications of the financial services sectors North and South moving closer together had little relevance in international finance.

What a peculiar quote to include. The story flows along well, all positive and shining before it comes to a sharp stop which leaves the reader go “huh?”

On another note, the Times and the Irish Independent both led with the story, while the Irish Examiner buried it in something about “no Chuckle Brothers II” between Martin McGuinnes and Peter Robinson, who will succeed Ian Paisley as the North’s first minister. Obviously I can only see the website and not the paper, so I might be wrong…

UPDATE: RTE did the same, slipping it in as a detail on Robinson being elected to lead the Democratic Unionist Party.

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