News Editorial

Monday 5 December 2016

Let's help shape fresh beginning

Published 04/12/2011 | 05:00

AS the discredited old men of the European Commission flirt with the economic abyss, it is time this administration remembered the wise old political advice about keeping 'your friends close and your enemies closer'.

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We may not be quite sure whether Germany is our friend or our enemy, but whilst the medicine of austerity mixed with institutional change which Ms Merkel wishes to impose on us will not be very nice, the 'something worse' that would inevitably follow a break-up of the EU will be a great deal more unattractive.

Instead of strutting around indulging in the current politics of Ne Temere, Mr Kenny should recognise Germany's pressing need for a referendum on institutional change is Ireland's opportunity. If Ireland wishes to play a positive role in the current crisis we should also recognise we have lessons to teach European elite that increasingly resembles the drowning man who refuses to take his boots off lest their feet get cold. As the Irish experience -- where banking debt collapsed the credit rating of the sovereign state -- infects the Continent, the most important message we can send is that banking reform does not simply consist of giving banks a flood of capital -- garnished from the future of the nation's taxpayers -- and that any rescue must come with an attached codicil of an end to the culture of obscene pay and bonuses.

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