Sunday 18 March 2018

David Robbins: Ireland- France: the end of l'affaire

As President Sarkozy threatens our tax regime, we're no longer in awe of our French friends, writes David Robbins

Hugh Leonard has a lot to answer for. His classic 1985 accounts of a barge trip along the Canal du Midi in France inspired a generation of Irish tourists to forget about their two weeks in Rosslare and go "on the continent" instead.

And for more than 20 years, a love affair between the Irish and all things French blossomed. This week, however, as French President Nicolas Sarkozy moved in on our corporate tax rate and borrowing levels, suddenly we're not feeling l'amour any more.

It was good while it lasted. For years, everything French seemed so thrillingly different, and not just different but better than at home.

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