Thursday 29 September 2016

Time to abandon cant about Greek bailout

Published 13/07/2015 | 02:30

Greek riot police stand on the stairs leading to the Greek parliament as a leftist protester waves a rainbow calling for a 'NO' to any agreement with the creditors which would lead to further austerity measures for the nation (Getty Images)
Greek riot police stand on the stairs leading to the Greek parliament as a leftist protester waves a rainbow calling for a 'NO' to any agreement with the creditors which would lead to further austerity measures for the nation (Getty Images)

The gates of a kind of economic hell have been opened upon the Greek people. All Irish people sympathise with their plight and hope lasting remedies can soon be put in place.

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But finding lasting solutions for that country's economic Armageddon will not be easy and it is long past time that everyone in Greek and EU politics faced that reality. Greece is entitled to solidarity and support, no matter what option is chosen - but that does not equate to open-ended access to their fellow EU citizens' taxes.

Nearer home, it is very galling to note that the would-be advocates of Ireland "standing up to our Troika masters" continue their pointless, confusing and time-wasting harangues. Without resources, standing up to debtors makes everything worse.

So can we please put this nonsense on hold and call a spade a spade?

Let us all be grateful for the not-so-small mercy that the last government bit the bullet and agreed to a very harsh bailout in November 2010.

Let us also be further grateful that the current Government stayed faithfully with the programme, which allowed us exit that same bailout in good order in December 2013. Nothing about it was easy for the Irish people.

The price was lengthening dole queues and enforced emigration, mortgage arrears, other debts and more suffering. There was a huge level of human distress, which to some degree touched every home in the country. But happily, we are now coming out the other end.

Let all political parties and Independents collaborate with the Government on this vital national interest. The priority is ensuring that we collaborate with our European partners to find a lasting and stable solution to this rolling series of Greek crises.

That is the only outcome in the best interests of the Irish people and the interlinked interests of our European neighbours. The time for domestic point-scoring in this eurozone crisis is over.

All politicians must collaborate to ensure Ireland is best placed to cope with the economic challenges ahead.

Irish Independent

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