Ronnie Ritchie
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Tough times at Irish sweet firm

The European Central Bank (ECB) has cut its benchmark interest rate to a new record low amid ongoing worries about the eurozone's economic health.

But as the global economic downturn continues to take its toll in Ireland, many businesses there are sceptical that the cut will offer any respite.

The BBC spoke to Ronnie Ritchie, managing director at Ritchie Ltd, a sweets manufacturer in Dublin.

He suggested that there was a general climate of fear in Ireland and that any ECB move to boost the economy was quickly cancelled out "by a new tax..... whether it be by the government or the banks".

"It is almost impossible to get any funding from any bank in Ireland at the moment", he added.

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