Tuesday 20 March 2018

Denial: it is the only fact of which we are certain

And the biggest denial of them all -- that Ireland can shoulder the debt burden -- is being perpetrated by the Troika, says Jody Corcoran

This time last year, the then government was in preparation for a slow, comfortable summer of grilled shrimp and cold beer. While it was away, for almost three months, 'the markets' remorselessly ticked: the countdown to the arrival of the Troika had begun.

The ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P's) downgraded Ireland a notch in August, 2010. You may remember -- you were at work; most of the Cabinet were at a summer school in short-sleeved shirts, a helicopter available should the urgency arise. The then Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, was on a golf course with Donie Cassidy.

The response to the downgrade was furious: the Governor of the Central Bank and the Chief Executive of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) were wheeled out.

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