Irish Economic Strategy: Fake It Till You Make It

Local councils in Northern Ireland have painted fake shop fronts and covered derelict buildings with huge billboards to hide the economic hardship being felt in towns and villages near the golf resort where G8 leaders will meet this month. Northern Ireland's government has spent £2 million ($3.15 million) tackling dereliction over the past two years, the province's environment department said, demolishing some buildings and giving others a facelift in a bid to make areas more attractive. In the one-street town of Belcoo, the changes are merely cosmetic. At a former butcher's shop, stickers applied to the windows show a packed meat counter and give the impression that business is booming. Story.

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