Monday 18 December 2017

Aside from the feta, who'd miss the EU?

Scorn not the simplicity: Noonan just might be right, says Brendan O'Connor

IT'S been a week of highly entertaining government gaffes. Enda Kenny basically told a guy he had too much time on his hands and that he should get a job. Richard Bruton told us all not to worry overly about voting 'No' this time because we'd have another crack at it anyway, while throwing in that we would pretty much definitely need another bailout. But normally wily old Noonan was the best, with his assertion that the only way the Greek disaster would affect us was that the denizens of D4 might find it harder to get feta cheese for their salads.

The fact that everyone else, from the World Bank to the IMF to the Germans, appears to think that a Greek default and possible exit from the eurozone would be catastrophic didn't bode well for Noonan's economic analysis. But maybe Noonan, in his simplicity, is right. Perhaps we need to simplify economics a bit more to make the current complex crisis understandable to more people. Perhaps Noonan, with his pithy, jokey, homespun analogies, should be sent around to calm world markets. He could go to the Greeks and tell them: "Listen, lads, a default is a lot like one of your kebabs late at night. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but it gets very messy, very quickly, and it's the kind of thing you can regret in the morning."

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