Tuesday 12 December 2017

We need a Martin Luther to lead our own political reformation

Our princes use tales of hell and damnation to scare us into submission, writes Marc Coleman

GREETINGS from Saxony where, just like in Ireland, today is a special day. In Ireland it's Halloween and even if they don't appear on your doorstep looking like the Addams family, Brian Cowen, Brian Lenihan and Mary Harney last week gave us the Omen-like prophecy of €15bn in cuts by 2014.

In Saxony, it is Reformation Day, the day Martin Luther hammered 95 theses onto a cathedral door in the Saxon town of Wittenberg. That began a crusade against indulgences and superstition that changed the world. On Thursday, our Ambassador to Germany Dan Mulhall, the German Irish Chamber of Commerce and myself were in the Saxon capital of Dresden on the last leg of a tour bringing facts and figures to German business people who so far have only heard the tabloid story about Ireland being the next Greece.

The event didn't cost taxpayers a cent. Unlike Farmleigh last year, no one claimed a fee. And there wasn't a Merc in sight -- Germans don't tolerate such nonsense. And it's thanks to their no-nonsense approach to competition and public sector salaries that unemployment in Germany is now at record lows.

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