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Ajai shows his love for Ireland

FOR a man no longer involved in Ireland's affairs, Ajai Chopra certainly likes this country.

When he was the head of the IMF mission here, he was known to bring his family over for a few days after he had finished meetings in Dublin, and it is clear that, even though he is no longer professionally interested in Ireland, he remains widely regarded in this country.

Yesterday, 'Chopper', as he has become known by the Irish public, spoke eloquently at an Institute of Bankers conference in Dublin. However, it was his actions before the speech that showed just how good a diplomat he really is.

He was enjoying a coffee and pastry along with other academics but then found himself cornered by a bunch of business reporters sniffing for a big story. If the hacks expected an indiscretion from Mr Chopra, then they were sorely disappointed. In the politest possible way, he made it clear that he was here to talk about bank resolution and not Ireland per se.

Questions were deftly batted away for a few minutes until finally, with a smile, he excused himself and went to read over his notes before taking the stage.

For a man who was seen as the face of the draconian cuts the Government has imposed since the bailout, he certainly is a "nice" guy – more humble technocrat than horrible plutocrat.

Irish Independent