Monday 19 March 2018

Time to shoulder the boulder

Conducting an Irish government -- almost any government -- in these turbulent times calls to mind the myth of King Sisyphus, condemned eternally to push a huge boulder up a hill, only for it to roll back to the bottom again and again.

At best, the Fine Gael-Labour coalition has pushed the fiscal boulder half-way up the hill, with immense effort. The higher up the slope, the greater the weight becomes. Ministers find they have to work harder and harder to gain any ground at all.

Their struggle is closely scrutinised by the public, deeply worried about present and future pain from tax increases and public spending reductions; by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, whose dictates we must obey -- and by an organisation of which few of us have ever heard.

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