Monday 5 December 2016

We might be flavour of month now, but what next?

Published 04/11/2011 | 05:00

Q: So what is the latest wonderful surprise from Athens?

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A: Well, the really big news is that the referendum we were all so excited about probably won't be happening and the socialist government will be replaced with a government of national unity.

Q: Blimey, you mean I was wasting my time this week reading about the collapse of the euro and all the other stuff?

A: It still beats 'Fair City' but in a plot turn worthy of that great soap, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou seems to have agreed to resign if he is allowed to survive a no confidence vote tomorrow.

Q: What happened?

A: The French and Germans took him aside for two hours on Wednesday night and told him in no uncertain terms that Greece would not get another cent until they passed the referendum.

Q: That's not very friendly. What happened to solidarity all the other fuzzy concepts that all those Europeans like to bang on about?

A: Funny you should mention that. Michael Noonan gave a rather splendid speech in Dublin yesterday warning that the big countries are at risk of taking over Europe and pushing the European Commission and the smaller countries to one side.

Q: Phew, I'm glad that's over! Those Greeks are pretty crazy aren't they?

A: Not really. Cast your mind back to our own dear island 12 months ago and much the same drama was playing out. People were speculating about a heave against Cowen, the Greens threatened to quit office but promised to push through the austerity programme and there were all sorts of crazy rumours.

Q: And now we are flavour of the month!

A: Exactly. Even Mario Draghi was singing our praises yesterday on his first outing as new ECB boss, telling the world that there are "no reasons to doubt the commitment" of the Irish government.

Q: That's nice for us but how Draghi's own government doing?

A: Looks like its curtains

for old Silvio Berlusconi.

He couldn't get his government to pass an austerity drive and sources say Berlusconi is going to

call a confidence vote

within two weeks.

President Giorgio

Napolitano has meanwhile been sounding out support from political forces to gauge the possibility of a broad-based national unity government.

Q: Mama mia! What does that mean?

A: Let's leave that for one another day!

Irish Independent

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