Sunday 21 January 2018

Marc Coleman: We've a bad hand, but the poker game is not over yet

Spain's turnaround last week threw us a bit, but in truth a rules-based option is our best hope, writes Marc Coleman

'And Spanish wine will give you hope, my dark Rosaleen." In Roisin Dubh, the poet James Clarence Mangan romanticised the eternal promise of help from Spain. Always just over the horizon, it kept hope alive in Ireland's darkest hours. Last week that hope returned.

Last Monday it tantalised us as Leo Varadkar spoke of any aid to Spain in relation to bank debt being applied retrospectively to Ireland. Then it started to taunt us.

German Finance official Martin Kotthaus announced that there was "no need for movement at the moment" and later in the week ECB President Mario Draghi said there was "no quid pro quo" for our positive referendum result. In theory he is right.

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