I TAKE my hat off to Germany, which has finally paid off the unjust level of reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the bonds it acquired in later years to pull itself out of appalling poverty.
Germany has shown how a resilient people can rise from the quagmire.
Why should Ireland be given any preferential treatment by Europe if we fail to comply with the agreed conditions?
Instead of castigating and even mocking the Germans, as some commentators are wont to do, perhaps we should take a leaf from their book.
We could ask Chancellor Angela Merkel to send us over some advisers to teach our lot in the higher offices of public and civil service how to run their departments more efficiently.
In return, we could teach them how to play the bodhran and the fiddle -- and how to party all night and forget about tomorrow.
Maynooth, Co Kildare
GERMANY has set an example for the rest of the world and regained its place at the centre of Europe.
In the aftermath of World War Two, a devastated people and economy have risen to be the nation that bankrolls its EU partners in difficulty.
So how did the Germans restore their country to such a premier position in Europe?
It wasn't just the Marshall Plan. Much more important were efforts to modernise European industrial and business practices using high-efficiency American models, reduce artificial trade barriers, and instill a sense of hope and self-reliance.
This would not have come about of its own accord.
I believe the German people worked hard to achieve this, giving value for money in every product that they produced. You just have to look at their top brands -- Mercedes, BMW, Bosch, Siemens, Liebherr and VW -- not to mention the success of Aldi and Lidl.
It takes more than a plan to achieve success. What we see in the German people is a 'can do' approach to life.
There is quite a lot we can learn from them.
So instead of us reminding Angela Merkel about her country's past, as suggested by Liam Power (Letters, October 30), maybe we should try to emulate their success.