Tuesday 21 November 2017

I shudder as I recall Day of the Troika

"Nothing good will come of this," was the first thought of the writer and poet Theo Dorgan

Face of the new masters: IMF boss Ajai Chopra (left) leaves the Merrion Hotel
Face of the new masters: IMF boss Ajai Chopra (left) leaves the Merrion Hotel
Greek police try to deal with the fallout from their bailout
Architects of the bailout: Ministers flank Taoiseach Brian Cowen as he delivers a speech on the day after the agreement

Theo Dorgan

On the news, the Minister for Ignoring Emigration is trying to persuade us that things are looking up on the employment front. Last week it was the Minister for the Three Card Trick trying to pretend that exiting the bailout somehow means we'll no longer be dependent on foreign loans. I am, I regret to say, deeply sceptical of these lads. To put it mildly. I remember very clearly watching the television news three years ago, almost to the day: three sombre men in suits and heavy overcoats walking across to the Merrion Hotel. I remember thinking, nothing good will come of this.

Three men in dark suits, crossing the road from the Department of Finance to their rooms in Dublin's most luxurious hotel. Where, we suspect, they are booked in for an indefinite stay.

The Troika has arrived, the headlines said. The Troika. A Russian word, once applied to a team of three horses, then to the notorious NKVD tribunals of Stalin. We savoured the word, a novelty, a word with no previous associations for most Irish people, a word nevertheless that we all instinctively understood to mean 'our new masters'.

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