Opening Bell: EU to give Ireland new 'fiscal space,' Google's Irish business to be examined in France, Yahoo's hard times

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The European Commission is reported to have backed plans to afford Ireland up to €1.5bn in additional "fiscal space" to increase spending and cut taxes in coming years. 

The Irish Times has seen an unpublished document in which the EU agreed to relax Ireland's budgetary rules until 2019.

These new targets have been set because Ireland brought its deficit below the EU limit of 2% of GDP in 2015.

The amount of fiscal space which will be afforded to the next Government has been a matter of debate in recent days.

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French finance minister, Michel Sapin has criticised the UK's controversial £130m tax settlement with Google.

He said that the deal, "seems more the product of a negotiation than the application of the law."

This intervention has sparked fresh calls for the European Commission to investigate the deal which allowed Google's UK operation to continue to book sales of £5bn in its Dublin Office.

Authorities in France are said to be seeking £380m in back taxes.

French officials are examining whether the company's Irish operations are "engage in commercial activity in France … without making the relevant tax declarations."

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Internet giant Yahoo has announced it's cutting roughly 1,600 jobs from its global workforce.

Its after results showing the search engine lost over $4bn in the last quarter of 2015.

It's not clear if any of the company's Irish workforce will be affected.

Yahoo says it's launching "an aggressive strategic plan to simplify the company".

This has raised speculation it may be sold or merged with another company.

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David Cameron will begin his drive to sell to the British people the EU reforms he has negotiated with a statement in the House of Commons later.

He will set out details of the deal hammered out with Brussels and will use the occasion to gauge reaction from fellow Conservative MPs.

The Prime Minister is aware some in his party will never be convinced that his push to remain in the EU is the right move.

But he is hoping others who are less Eurosceptic will get behind the plan, which was drawn up and distributed on Tuesday by EU Council President Donald Tusk.

He received a major boost when Theresa May - who those from the 'leave' campaign were hoping would back their drive - appeared to signal her support for the 'stay' campaign.

Ms May said the PM's proposals did address key UK concerns about the "abuse" of EU free movement rules and the use of European law to block the deportation of foreign criminals.

If Mr Cameron is able to get other European leaders to back his reforms at a summit of the EU Council on 18-19 February, he is expected to put Britain's EU membership to a referendum in June.

 

Additional reporting by IRN