Even in sunny Monaco, our tax regime is seen as shady
Here I am on the French Riviera, where general goodwill towards Ireland matches the warmth of the climate and people mention our financial difficulties with compassion for the way that private losses were hocus-pocused into public debt.
Until, that is, Ireland's tax status crops up. Then the compassion clouds over faster than sympathy for a doped-up Tour de France winner.
It hasn't gone unnoticed among austerity-weary European electorates that our 12.5pc corporation tax rate is not where the bar has been set in reality. If everybody paid 12.5pc, a stronger case could be made for defending it. In fact, the big boys, from Apple to Google to Microsoft, are allowed to hammer out juicier deals with the Revenue Commissioners.