ECB moves closer to digital Euro
The European Central Bank took the next step towards a “digital euro” last week by launching the project’s exploration phase, but questions remain about potential pitfalls and benefits for euro zone citizens, AFP reported.
The move comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has hastened a shift away from cash, and as central bankers around the world track the rise of private cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
A digital euro, sometimes dubbed “e-euro”, would be an electronic version of euro notes and coins.
It would for the first time allow individuals, and companies, to have deposits directly with the ECB. This could be safer than with commercial banks, which could go bust, or than holding cash that could be stolen or lost.
Elephant tusk found off Kerry coast
A Kerry fishing vessel recovered an elephant tusk at sea last week, RTÉ reported.
It’s believed the tusk may have originated onboard a slave ship bound for England or America.
The ivory tusk was discovered by Dingle-based Cú na Mara in the Porcupine basin.
The trawler had been fishing for prawns around 120 miles off the coast of Kerry when the elephant tusk became entangled in their nets and was subsequently discovered.
They then brought the tusk to Dr Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld, who consulted with a number of experts.
It was thought the tusk was that of a prehistoric mammoth, but further examination led experts to believe that it may instead have originated on a slave ship.
“I contacted Dr Connie Kelliher of the Parks and Wildlife Underwater Archaeology Unit, she’s an expert in this, and she came and looked at it, and said to me that she thinks it’s from a slave ship that would have gone down off the Porcupine in extreme bad weather,” Dr Flannery told RTÉ.
Tenants spend over 30% of income on rent
Irish tenants spend, on average, 36% of their net income on rent, with a fifth of tenants renting because they can’t get a mortgage.
The statistics come as part of new research from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), which also showed 79% of tenants describing their experience of renting in the private sector as positive or very positive.
Despite the vast majority stating their experience has been positive, however, renters voiced their concerns about affordability and security of tenure.
One in five said they were renting because they couldn’t get a mortgage, while a further 15% said they were renting while saving for a deposit for their own home.