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The 'Euro bar' is set very high for Donohoe's new prestige position

John Downing


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All smiles: Paschal Donohoe was rewarded with two big roles in 12 days. Photo: Gerry Mooney

All smiles: Paschal Donohoe was rewarded with two big roles in 12 days. Photo: Gerry Mooney

All smiles: Paschal Donohoe was rewarded with two big roles in 12 days. Photo: Gerry Mooney

'Gordon, in a marriage you don't admit strangers to the bedroom."

That was the doubly ironic response of French finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn to his UK counterpart Gordon Brown in 1999 when he rebuffed British efforts to join the deliberations of the Eurogroup.

Irony No 1 was that the UK consistently refused to join the EU single currency - but for many years demanded access to the group of finance ministers charged with co-ordinating it. Irony No 2 was the French minister's unfortunate choice of words given subsequent events in his own life leading to a series of sex scandals that ended a very promising career.