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Colm McCarthy: We're top of the class in Europe but may still fail

IRELAND'S chances of emerging from the public finance crisis depend critically on economic recovery. If the rate of economic growth, currently zero or thereabouts, picks up soon, government revenues will improve automatically, helping to close the budget gap.

But if there is no growth, the deficit, even with some extra cuts and tax impositions, will persist, because of the steady rise in debt-service costs.

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