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Ireland gets all the blame for euro crisis

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ENDA Kenny's comparison of Ireland's economic problems with the siege of Leningrad is bizarre. A far better historical analogy would be with the Treaty of Versailles. A single country is being accused of being solely responsible for a European disaster and is now expected to make financially unsustainable 'reparations' without any consideration of the long-term consequences for everyone involved.

Not only does Ireland now face a prolonged period of economic chaos ending in a default, but, like Weimar Germany, it has a deeply dysfunctional political system that is ill-equipped to handle the challenges it will soon face. The bottom line is that Ireland didn't invent the euro, but is expected to shoulder the blame for its failure.

It is now obvious that this country was run into the ground by an incompetent political elite, with not one single TD of any party attempting to stop the madness.

But while Ireland has an entire parliament building full of culprits, none of the architects and managers of the euro are being asked to explain why they stood back and did nothing while ludicrous quantities of debt flooded the periphery of Europe.

Until this issue of fiscal mismanagement is resolved, the future of the euro -- and the entire European project -- will remain in doubt.

David Rolfe
Rathmines, Dublin

ARE we a grown-up, responsible people capable of managing ourselves with integrity and intelligence?

If we are, then we don't leave it to others. We get involved. We take our responsibility to society seriously. We find ways to share information, ways to avoid squabbling and acting out our anger, and ways to utilise that anger so its energy is directed towards creativity. We create understanding, empathy and common ground.

Some might say it's a lot to ask for. Well, it's not going to be easy, that's for sure. Not as easy as voting, and then sitting back, doing nothing at all and handing over taxes as payment for services.

We cannot afford to be mere consumers of political ideologies.

We need to be courageous, knowing that while we don't have all the answers, we can find them, test them and move forward as a society.

Cornelius Crowley
South Harrow, London

Irish Independent