| 7.3°C Dublin

Close

Premium


World in depression spells hardship

Dan O'Brien


Beware of politicians' promises when they claim more tax won't be needed to pay for public services

Close

IRELAND FACES STARK CHOICES: Fianna Fail and Fine Gael last week agreed a joint document which will form the basis of a coalition between them and other parties

IRELAND FACES STARK CHOICES: Fianna Fail and Fine Gael last week agreed a joint document which will form the basis of a coalition between them and other parties

IRELAND FACES STARK CHOICES: Fianna Fail and Fine Gael last week agreed a joint document which will form the basis of a coalition between them and other parties

The coronavirus shock has been likened to World War II in a number of respects. When it comes to the economic effects of the pandemic, it may turn out to be an apt parallel, particularly for those European countries which were not belligerents in that conflict.

The likes of Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain were deeply affected by the conflict, despite suffering little or no direct war damage.

The war years - known as 'the emergency' in the then Irish Free State - were grim, even for the neutrals. Supplies of almost everything were disrupted. Rationing was imposed for some items. Demand in export markets declined or disappeared altogether. All this disruption caused living standards to fall.