Saturday 24 March 2018

Bruce Arnold: Frustration growing as debate on Europe stifled

Bruce Arnold

Public recognition that a national debate is needed on Ireland's future in Europe is growing despite attempts to throttle or pre-empt it. Last Friday, in the Dail, at a meeting of former Oireachtas members attending a seminar on Ireland and Europe, there were references to the growing dissatisfaction felt about bad leadership or no leadership or secretive leadership. A tide of public reaction is building.

Notable contributors included Alan Dukes, who heads what was once Anglo Irish Bank, and Geraldine Kennedy, former editor of the 'Irish Times'. Alan Dukes made a statement about us being 'led by the nose', notably by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, referring to the former as "a very substantial lady who knows what she is doing".

Apart from the word "substantial", this is complete nonsense. Ms Merkel has led Europe throughout the euro crisis and has repeatedly failed to find a workable solution. She clearly does not know what she is doing for Europe, only Germany. If she does, it is not enough to get us out of the mess. As Wolfgang Munchau said last Monday in the 'Financial Times': "Now that she has got everything she wanted, the system continues to unravel."

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