Saturday 16 December 2017

John Downing: News from Berlin gives Coalition a political lifeline

LONDONERS have learned to live with the daily reality that they are never more than five metres away from a rat. Similarly, EU functionaries deal with the day-to-day realpolitik that the German chancellor is never less than a matter of months away from an important election.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government is under pressure. They face difficult regional elections in Bavaria next autumn at the same time as they face nationwide elections. Germany is heading into election mode -- and that makes all eurozone negotiations additionally difficult.

Given those circumstances, Enda Kenny and his senior officials have done very well to get a public declaration in writing about Ireland's case for bank debt support. The Taoiseach has got special recognition from Dr Merkel that "Ireland is a special case and that the eurogroup will take this into account".

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