Saturday 21 October 2017

Letters: Bidding anything but a fond adieu to troika

Bon voyage: The IMF's Peter Breuer, left, Craig Beaumont, centre, and other delegates leave the Finance Department
Bon voyage: The IMF's Peter Breuer, left, Craig Beaumont, centre, and other delegates leave the Finance Department

* Now that the time is almost upon us -- and I refer to December 15 rather than the 25 -- I want to remark on one particularly cloying cliche which has done the rounds in the media generally in the last couple of months -- and that is the phrase, "waving goodbye to the troika".

For me anyway, this turn of phrase almost implies some sort of fond farewell on the part of the Irish people, crowds thronging the streets and airport with tears welling in their dewy eyes and hankies at the ready, as if bidding a reluctant, bittersweet adieu to some kindly benefactor, rather than a group of people who socialised private debt, slashed the wages and conditions of ordinary workers and who, without electoral mandate, inflicted austerity on, if hardly all, then the vast majority of Irish citizens.

There is in this choice of wording a suggestion of friendly disposition which is entirely misplaced -- but perhaps it speaks volumes about our national character. I somehow doubt whether the media of our fellow PIGS countries will be quite so benign in their analysis when their time comes to part company with the forces that inflicted hardship on many for the benefit of an elite few. Furthermore, the so-called "waving goodbye" may be, in a sense, somewhat premature as from all media reports since the announcement of the December 15 date, their malignant legacy will persist in the form of regular "check ups" on the State's finances long after they have discontinued having a direct hand in the affairs of our State.

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