Wednesday 17 January 2018

The real work must go on

BRIAN Lenihan was in Brussels last night -- the right place for Ireland's Finance Minister. At home, politicians may wrangle, the Fianna Fail Party may lurch towards defeat and discredit, but the real work of the Government must go on.

Mr Lenihan's mission was to try to obtain a reduction in the interest rate we must pay under the terms of the EU-IMF bailout. It took place in the context of a series of sometimes tense and ill-tempered meetings on closely related subjects. These meetings put Ireland's position in perspective, and not a happy perspective.

The interest rate, although it appears excessive by any normal standards, is far from the core issue, and we have a good chance of gaining some relief. The central issues are enormous, highly controversial, and illustrate some facts about political and economic power which we should have learnt long ago.

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