Sunday 25 August 2019

Germans remind us to be careful what we wish for

IT HAS been a good week for Taoiseach Enda Kenny. It began with a 7pc boost in his personal popularity rating, and yesterday the German Chamber of Commerce reminded us that we were lucky to have such a steady and experienced hand on the tiller, as the EU sails into deeply troubled waters.

In Ireland we have a healthy disregard for our leaders, rating them dubiously somewhere between 'Mad' King Ludwig II of Bavaria and Caligula. It has become something of a national psychosis that no prophet should ever be sacred in his own land. But credit where it is due. As well as never missing penalties in World Cups, the Germans are pretty doughty burghers when it comes to seeing trouble coming over the hill. Wise old heads are becoming a rarity in the EU.

Francois Hollande will soon be exiting the stage, and Matteo Renzi has just consigned himself to history's dustbin.

It falls to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was this year named the most powerful woman on the planet for the 11th time, to hold the centre. Over the years Mr Kenny and Ms Merkel have forged a firm and trusted bond.

So often in politics we don't want what we know and want what we don't know. It can take an outsider to remind us that sometimes, we ought to be more grateful for what we have.

Irish Independent

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