Saturday 10 December 2016

Solution to our problems found inside these borders

What is the point in being part of the EU if we are treated as a pariah, in spite of all our cuts? asks James Fitzsimons

Published 18/09/2011 | 05:00

Sometimes, if you wait long enough, the problem will just fade away. That's what is happening to the interest being charged on our bailout funds. It didn't happen in 100 days but it did in 200. Better late than never. Was this the plan all along or did they have no choice in the end? At six per cent we were being grossly overcharged. At three per cent we are still paying too much. And we cannot give the bondholders the haircut they deserve. So how can the Government claim to have won a victory? We are back where we started. We would be fools to believe that we got anything we didn't deserve.

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Guenther Oettinger was out of line when he suggested last week that we should fly our flag at half-mast. He described us as deficit sinners who need to be humiliated. This is the kind of constipated thinking that keeps the EU in the dark ages and as far from European integration as it was in 1956. Mr Oettinger should be tarred and feathered and have his pension rights taken away as a warning to other upstarts abroad.

Maybe we should be thankful for the reduction in interest rates and the extended term over which to repay. They were a long time coming. But it's still not enough and the Government should get on with doing what it said it would do. Then we can get back to being good Europeans.

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