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In brief: Greece will repay loan tranche, official says


Greek flag

Greek flag


Greek flag

Greece will repay a loan tranche to the International Monetary Fund on time on Thursday, its deputy finance minister said over the weekend, seeking to quell fears of default after a flurry of contradictory statements on the issue last week.

Greece is running out of cash and its euro zone and IMF lenders have frozen aid until its new government reaches agreement on reforms. "We strive to be able to pay our obligations on time," Dimitris Mardas told a Greek TV station.

No zero hour contracts in civil service: Nash

There are no civil service workers employed on zero hour contracts, Jobs Minister Ged Nash has said.

But data on whether the wider public sector employs anyone under the controversial contracts is not available, the Minister of State said.

Employees on zero-hour contracts usually have no guaranteed hours of work and remain on call to be brought in by their employer when required. Thousands of Dunnes Stores workers held strikes around the country last week in protest over the company's use of these contracts. The Government recently commissioned researchers at the University of Limerick to examine them.

Holcim mulled merger with German rival

Swiss building materials company Holcim looked at buying Germany's Heidelberg Cement towards the end of 2013 before agreeing to merge with France's Lafarge, reports suggest. Then-Holcim chairman Rolf Soiron is thought to have spoken with Heidelberg Cement's biggest shareholder, Ludwig Merckle, who owns around a quarter of the German company's shares.

The tie-up between Holcim and Lafarge was announced in April 2014. Irish-listed CRH plans to spend €6.5bn on buying some of the assets that must be sold as part of the merger. But the deal has been thrown into doubt after Holcim shareholders raised objections to its terms, including its new chief executive.

Irish Independent