Tuesday 12 December 2017

Padraic Halpin and Harry Papachristou: Why Ireland is EU’s poster boy and Greece is still at the back of the class

Anti-austerity protesters march through central Athens (AP)
Anti-austerity protesters march through central Athens (AP)

IRELAND has become the poster boy of international lenders, held up as a model of European austerity to problem child Greece.

But when the two countries sought financial help from theEuropean Union and International Monetary Fund within six months of each other in 2010, they were starting from different points.

Ireland had an efficient public administration, a modern open economy and not much culture of protest in contrast to Greece, making it very difficult to catch up.

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