Never has more economic hope depended on the negotiating skills of a Taoiseach. Enda Kenny suffered a setback yesterday when he was forced to postpone the negotiation on the Irish bailout until after the stress tests into the banks are completed next week.
He also has to cope with the shadow of Portugal, which is edging ever closer to its own need for a bailout and the subsequent drain on limited EU finances.
Although the stress tests are expected to reveal an even bigger banking black hole than anticipated, Mr Kenny has taken the decision to wait for the results before looking for changes to the EU/IMF deal.
Let's hope that, armed with a fuller picture of the liability, he can succeed in negotiating some relief of the intolerable burden on hard-pressed Irish taxpayers.