Sunday 21 January 2018

German ambassador is no tipster

GERMANS have a reputation for being financially cautious, but it seems the country's ambassador to Ireland is not afraid to make a wager or two. Eckhard Lubkemeier, speaking in Dublin yesterday, regaled his audience with a tale of a little bet made a few years ago between himself and David Walshe, former European editor of the 'Financial Times'. The ambassador (inset) bet the euro and the pound would be worth the same by the end of 2009; needless to say, he lost.

What the ambassador was not prepared to bet on, however, was this Sunday's German national elections. He declined to go into detail about what the result might mean for Ireland, insisting that regardless of the outcome, Germany's European policies will stay the same. "There will be continuity in our approach," he said.

The Punt is not so sure. Ireland has not yet exited its bailout programme, and our Budget is a mere draft until it is approved by the powers that be in Europe.

We have every reason to pay attention to the German election if only because, if she is re-elected, this will by all accounts be Angela Merkel's last term in office.

And we all know politicians show their true colours in their final term.

Irish Independent

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