Tuesday 27 June 2017

Government deal risks being populist fudge

If our political leaders can't take necessary but difficult measures, we are in danger of becoming ungovernable, writes Dan O'Brien

Good news: 'Last week brought a raft of positive developments on Europe’s economy'
Good news: 'Last week brought a raft of positive developments on Europe’s economy'
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

Let's start with some good news. Last week brought a raft of positive developments on Europe's economy. This is to be welcomed because for a long time, the greatest risk to Ireland's recovery has been renewed recession on the continent leading - almost inevitably - to the flaring up again of the euro crisis. If that were to happen, we could very easily land right back in the very deep hole we were in five years ago.

Thankfully, last week's news makes that less likely. On Friday it emerged that the eurozone economy surged unexpectedly in the first three months of the year. The bloc has not enjoyed a stronger increase in its GDP in half a decade.

Even better news came on the jobs front. Unemployment across the zone is down by a million people in a little over six months. It very much looks as if the rate of joblessness is about to fall into single digits over the next couple of months to reach its lowest level since the last decade (the good jobs news from Europe is discussed in greater detail in my column in the business section of this newspaper).

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