If Ireland’s populist Sinn Fein party manages to form an Irish government, Apple, along with banks and real-estate companies, may be among those hurt the most.
The party, which won the popular vote in Ireland’s general election last week, is opening discussions with others to try and form a coalition. There’s no guarantee it will find enough allies, with the established parties of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail wary of the Sinn Fein’s past links to the IRA terror group and its economic polices. Fianna Fail leader will seek to create a possible government with all parties except Sinn Fein, Irish media said Friday. Nonetheless, the election results spooked investors, sending bank and real-estate shares plunging.
One of the country’s biggest employers, Apple was hit with a 13 billion-euro ($14.13 billion) tax bill in 2016 from the European Commission, which said it got a sweetheart deal from the Irish state. Until now, the Irish government has vehemently denied any wrong-doing and is appealing the decision.
Sinn Fein criticized the government for fighting the case, saying the money should be accepted as a windfall to build homes and hospitals… However, it’s not clear that Ireland dropping its fight would end the matter. Apple is also appealing the decision, and that may well continue no matter what the Irish decide. Sinn Fein and any potential coalition partners would also need to carefully monitor whether such a move would jeopardize the 6,000 jobs the company provides in Ireland.
MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, common sense will prevail. Apple has axed projects before in Ireland due to political shenanigans, so Sinn Fein would be wise to tread lightly, if at all.