Sunday 18 February 2018

Lise Hand: Elusive Enda's back on the Naughty Step

ANGELA Merkel was looking a little grimmer than usual. After all the trouble she'd gone to -- with the political equivalent of flowers, dinner and dancing in the shape of red carpets, a military guard of honour and a sumptuous lunch followed by a press conference -- and Elusive Enda was still playing hard to get.

The German Chancellor was eager to convey a clear message to the bold children of the eurozone: Ireland is officially released from the Naughty Step. We've languished there since our country, as the Taoiseach put it, "lost the run of itself" in 2008. But that was all forgotten for his first visit to Berlin yesterday as Head of Government.

For, in a remarkable turn-around, Ireland is now the poster nation for how one should comport oneself while under the cosh of the Troika and Angela wanted to convey her approval. But Ireland -- and its leader -- doesn't just require praising, but wooing too.

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