RTE’s The Week in Politics is well worth watching… It was the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore who drew the short straw left him by the Taoiseach’s refusal to debate Gerry Adams on television.. It was notable more for the heat than any modicum of light it generated from either side.
“Let’s stick to Ireland…” was Gerry Adams answer to the Sean O’Rourke’s opener on the crisis in Greece. And he did, no matter how many times he was invited to speculate about what may become of Greece, Adams refused to be drawn away from the island of Ireland.
Not far into the debate, O’Rourke remarked “maybe I am wasting my time asking you about Greece”. Adams consistent focus on Irish unemployment brought him some benefits, not least because Gilmore made the mistake of doing what Micheal Martin said the Yes side shouldn’t… ie, to allow “rebuttals to dominate their efforts.”
But Greece is relevant. An exit would demonstrate that nothing inside the Eurozone will come to any country as of right. Mr Adams has been aided in his absolute defence by the fact that that it hasn’t happened yet. Good behaviour will be rewarded with access to ESM, bad behaviour and the door, if not open is certainly sitting ajar.
Half way through the programme, there is a cut of Ms Legarde (she who holds the big umbrella), saying it is all about “implementation, implementation, implementation”. The bottom line of that in the short to medium term at least, is austerity on the terms laid out in the Fiscal Compact…