Thursday 8 December 2016

Little scope for fancy gestures, just hard work

Published 01/01/2013 | 17:00

A soldier raises the EU flag over Dublin Castle, to mark the beginning of the Irish presidency of the European Union.
A soldier raises the EU flag over Dublin Castle, to mark the beginning of the Irish presidency of the European Union.

ENDA Kenny may well not get to stride the EU stage with those practised, slightly comic Napoleonic gestures employed by Charlie Haughey over 20 years ago.

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EU presidencies are not entirely what they were – even since the last Irish one in 2004 when Taoiseach Bertie Ahern formally welcomed 10 new member states, eight from the old communist East Bloc, at a ceremony in the Phoenix Park.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore have promised us six months of 'workmanlike application' between today and June 30. In an EU where up to 20 million people will soon be out of work, and in a country where one in seven workers is unemployed, their low-key aim is appropriate.

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