Saturday 23 September 2017

Thomas Molloy: Ireland heads in the right direction as Greece remains a basket case

Under the benevolent influence of the multinationals, Ireland has modernised, writesThomas Molloy. Not so Greece, which remains deeply corrupt and has the feel of a soviet-style command economy.

AS the situation in Greece descended into farce this week, Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan could be forgiven for breathing a deep sigh of relief. Ireland is still many years from regaining economic sovereignty but the country and the economy are heading in the right direction.

Just a few months ago, Greece, Ireland and Portugal were seen as interchangeable and all headed for default. Today, bond yields show the markets clearly distinguish between the three countries. The contrasting fortunes are a reminder that policy decisions taken many years ago -- as well as personalities -- really do matter and can cast a long shadow over the country's fortunes.

Yesterday on RTE's 'Morning Ireland', Michael Noonan was anxious to portray Ireland as a "north European country". He is right, but 20 years ago this boast would have rung hollow.

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