Business World

Wednesday 13 December 2017

International media becomes head cheerleader of 'Team Ireland'

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

THE international media has been falling over itself to praise Ireland in recent days as the economy finally shows conclusive signs of staging a recovery.

The 'Financial Times' once again heralded the country's recovery yesterday with another laudatory article saying that the NTMA's sale of bonds worth €2.5bn "shows the way back from the periphery".

Like so many recent articles on Ireland, the 'Financial Times' also repeats the government's argument that our recovery depends on a deal with Europe on our bank debt.

Over at the 'Economist' which shares the same owner as the 'Financial Times', readers have been treated to a very similar analysis in articles and an editorial this week calling on Europe to give us the "helping hand" we need.

Ireland still has a "good story to tell: last year it dodged recession, labour costs came down and foreign companies kept coming," it adds.

The magazine's intelligence unit told subscribers, meanwhile, that Ireland was the 12th best place in the world to be born, beating Germany, the UK and the US and 65 other countries thanks to a mixture of our future prospects and matters such as life expectancy, standard of family life and trust in public institutions.

While the Pearson media group – which owns the 'Financial Times' and the 'Economist' – could be described as Ireland's cheerleader-in-chief these days, Rupert Murdoch's London-based 'Times' is not far behind.

That newspaper led its business section yesterday with a graphic based around a pint of Guinness and the headline: "Investors slake thirst as Irish set out on road to recovery."

It also cheerfully reported that Tuesday's bond sale saw Ireland "sweep past a key milestone on its journey to rehabilitation with international lenders".

Later, the article reports on "tentative signs of a recovery in the country, which, unlike much of the eurozone, has reported positive GDP numbers and is creating net new jobs."

As if to prove that the new love-in is not an Anglo Saxon thing, Germany's most influential news magazine, 'Der Spiegel' took a similar tack earlier this week.

While dismissing Taoiseach Enda Kenny as "wooden", the normally sceptical 'Spiegel" makes many of the arguments that Mr Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan have been making.

"If the (Irish) government fails to get European taxpayers to assume some of the risk of its ailing banking sector, the country could soon require another bailout," the magazine warns.

This sort of publicity shows that the Government has finally found a convincing way of selling our version of the truth far beyond these shores.

Perhaps that's why 'Monocle' magazine's most recent issue added Ireland to its list of 30 countries which lead the world when it comes to soft power.

Last year, things could only get better for Ireland when it was conspicuously absent from the same rankings while Greece and Portugal both got rankings. This year, it seems that things have got better.

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