Give incoming government a hiatus, says mogul O'Brien
BUSINESS people should give the new government the benefit of the doubt and there should be a "hiatus" before anyone criticises the new administration, telecoms entrepreneur Denis O'Brien said yesterday.
"Give it a year or two," Mr O'Brien told the Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce.
Business leaders should also actively support the remaining difficult decisions that await the coalition, he added.
While we had already endured a fair amount of medicine we needed to "take the last bits of the medicine", he said. Among the challenges facing the next government were "the awful deal" with the ECB and the IMF.
"We should go out and support their hard decisions. We've done it in our own businesses."
The opposition parties and Independents should also refrain from too much criticism, he added.
The new government must work to restore the country's reputation "not just with the people, but also outside," he said.
The telecoms mogul said the next government should sell off the ESB, Bord na Mona, the Dublin Airport Authority and other semi-state bodies as well as shutting down quangos.
Modern governments did not need to be involved in "electricity generation, turf cutting or running airports," he added.
Mr O'Brien, who runs Digicel which sells mobile phone services in more than 30 countries, urged Irish business people to sell into the emerging markets such as the Middle East, the former Soviet Union and parts of Africa.