Sunday 25 February 2018

Ireland should be a bit more Greek and a bit less meek

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, welcomes Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny ahead of a meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels (REUTERS/Yves Herman)
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, welcomes Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny ahead of a meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels (REUTERS/Yves Herman)
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who has drawn criticism after Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has quickly shown he isn't afraid to stand up to the EU (REUTERS/Yves Herman)
Alexis Tsipras

When you note how tough Greece are in dealing with their debt in comparison to Ireland, is it any wonder the Troika practically hugged Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan when bidding them adieu?

Even prior to the Greek election, that country got a better deal than Ireland because it stood up to the European Union. Since new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took power he has wasted no time. He has tried to raise money to reduce that debt. His latest effort is to reclaim a Nazi war loan - reputed in Athens to be around €162bn, or more than half the level of debt Greece is struggling with. Unfortunately, Germany's economics minister has rejected this on the grounds the issue was concluded 25 years ago.

Our own finance minister tells us Irish debt is affordable and repayable.

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