Gene Kerrigan: A bailout? This is more like a stitch-up
There is a very good reason our Taoiseach was slow to accept the EU/IMF deal, writes Gene Kerrigan
Let's say a few words in defence of Brian Cowen. Just a few -- despite the bloody awful time we're going through we haven't entirely lost our minds. We're well aware that Ahern, McCreevy, Harney, Cowen and their cronies took a thriving economy for a joyride and crashed it. And for over two years Cowen and Lenihan have stubbornly continued the right-wing policies that caused the economic apocalypse.
However, Cowen appears to have been getting a bad rap on this "IMF bailout". The story is much more complex. For a start -- we're not being bailed out, we're being stitched up. And it's not so much the IMF that's doing it, it's our European "partners".
Over that weird week in mid-November, Cowen denied the bailout rumours (though EU sources confirmed that bailout talks were under way). The Government deliberately misled the citizens. For a few days, the media seemed as puzzled as it was aghast. At this time of crisis our philanthropic European partners were offering us tens of billions, and Cowen didn't want to accept their generous offer. Was he mad? Bringing in the IMF and the EU (through the European Financial Stability Facility) was humiliating, infuriating -- but it was a way out of an impossible crisis.