Ireland has missed a glorious chance on Greece

As the Greek tragedy rumbles on France has said it will keep up efforts to reach a deal. France has also maintained that the biggest critics of Greece are the other smaller countries. This brings Ireland into the spotlight. Has the government really been politically clever in how it has handled the Greek crisis? Ireland has a strong reputation in Europe. At several junctures in the history of the EU it is Ireland that has helped to bring people around … Read more

Banking Inquiry – Are we really learning anything new?

The Banking Inquiry continues to trundle on and fill the column inches. Each witness that comes before the inquiry promises more detail, better insight and the hope that we are going to get something new. However, one has to question if we are really getting anywhere at all? Of course there is a number of ways to look at these things. The inquiry was always going to be more therapeutic than anything else. In the US and other countries we … Read more

Ireland & Europe; Political leaders need to start thinking outside the box

As we are all consumed with the Adams/Cahill story, it is hard for some other pieces of news to gain traction. One big story that was missed in the media was the revelation that due to the revision in how the European Union calculates the contributions of member states to the coffers of the Union that Ireland will now be required to pay an additional €157 million. Before you start coming at me with a “but Ireland, got huge amounts … Read more

Kenny addresses the nation as Ireland exits its bailout.

Only five times in Irish history has a Taoiseach taken to the airwaves to address the nation and Kenny went for his second go tonight as Ireland exits its bailout programme. Full text of the speech is available here Overall I found it a bit of a dull speech without any real coherent message or point. At many times it just seemed like Kenny was giving the address simply to tell us everything that we already knew. He did take … Read more

#Anglotapes: If they saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide they have a choice.

Following the release of tapes of Anglo staff discussing how they present their case for support, in the lead up to the bank guarantee, there are more revelations in todays Irish Independent (which has been breaking the story). You can listen to the tapes via the Indo’s website (at the links above), but here are a couple of key quotes, as transcribed by the Journal.ie: Bowe on what the actual monetary requirement could be: That number is seven [billion] but … Read more

Euro crisis: “Hollande is man of the moment, but Europe’s gaze is firmly fixed on Athens”

As the Irish Times’ Arthur Beesley notes All of this puts Hollande’s push to renegotiate the treaty in the shade. German chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to rebut her new French partner yesterday, but that can be read as the opening gambit. Her staunch ally Nicolas Sarkozy has been deposed. She has no choice but to work with the new tenant. The Merkozy days are over. In Brussels, the expectation remains that some form of an amendment will be conjured … Read more

Euro Crisis: Cold morning after a hot night in Athens…

Twitter was burning with indignation last night (as it often is) that the MSM did not throw any attention on the crisis in Athens as the Greek Parliament acted upon the German ultimatum to impose an austerity package that may see the new government washed away in the upcoming general election in April. I suppose that takes care of whether Greece defaults in the near term or not. As Pete has pointed out, the package is not enough to prevent … Read more

I share the Irish public’s dismay at the cost and unfairness of this policy

In this morning’s Irish Times, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, offered everyone the wisdom of his thoughts on the payment of a €700m unsecured unguaranteed Anglo-Irish Bank bond. The whole piece is worth a read. He states that: Part of the existing agreement with our external partners is not to allow any Irish bank, including Anglo Irish Bank, default on its debts to bondholders for fear of paralysing wider European financial markets. I share the Irish public’s dismay at the cost … Read more

Irish bailout fate mixed up in the bigger chaos, with no solution in sight

Ireland Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan has been goaded into a reply by the scathing attack on the Irish bailout terms from Morgan Kelly ak.a. Dr Doom.   Not much of substance in his RTE interview far; but presumably he knows something we don’t. We are keeping our options open,” Honohan said. “We have a number of cards, we don’t have many cards, in these negotiations. There is a right time to play your most important cards,” he said. Hopes of … Read more

Was Brian Lenihan pushed or did he jump because he had nowhere left to go??

There was a lot of copy written both before and after the BBC documentary, the Bail Out Boys come to Dublin compiled by the Irish Times’ writer, Dan O’Brien. But listening to it there are a few accounts in that programme that seem to conflict with Mr Lenihan’s headline grabbing, not to mention rather simplifying suggestion that the measures were not necessary and the ECB forced him (not to mention the rest of the country) into taking the money. It … Read more

Coalition needs to keep its collective eye on the Brussels game…

All politics is local, except when it comes to an Irish banking crisis. As Paul Gillespie notes in today’s Irish Times: Ireland is more deeply entangled with its partners in the European Union as a result of the banking crisis and the measures taken by the new Government to resolve it. That is part of a more general process called Europeanisation by writers on the subject. It makes European issues part of domestic politics. Politicisation of the issues makes them … Read more

Fine Gael and Labour should strike out now for a new deal

With Fianna Fail now finally swept aide, will the two victorious parties dare  make the one move that would weld them together in an instant and all Ireland with them?  Only the most starry-eyed europhile would fail to give two cheers for the briefings emerging from Dublin that the about-to-be-born FG-Labour coalition really mean it.  They will seriously try to renegotiate the bailout. They may yet confound the ranks of critics in advance who balked at standing themselves, Browne, O’Toole … Read more

Exposing economic literacy as orthodoxy

I suspect that the tenor of the debate around the economy is going to take an ugly turn with the entry of various independents into the electoral race over the next week or two. Prior to the dissolution of the Dáil, there was the grotesque spectacle of Fine Gael and Labour facilitating the passage of a Finance Bill that they publicly stated they would vote against, but, by their actions clearly condoned. Collectively, their positions on the economy, or specifically, … Read more

Cowen Statement (in case you missed it)

Via Maman Poulet: Brian Cowen’s statement 22/11/010 from maman poulet on Vimeo. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole on Twitter. But … Read more

FF: Just too cute this time?

Today FF and the Greens looked interested in leaving behind bobby traps for any incoming government as they face a humiliating removal from office. Both have declared their actions as in the national interest. But how much of recent events have been about FF, in particular trying to minimise their forthcoming time in the electoral wilderness and how much is really about the national interest? Following the Doherty court challenge and his likely victory in DSW, with further by-elections in … Read more

The Minister for Hardship

I understand that this clip is a send-up of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, but it’s got a bit of currency left, hasn’t it? (Hat tip: Padraig Reidy) In other news, Duncan has three questions which partly boil down into one big one: Is Ireland really the place to adopt the mantra that ‘the markets have failed – we need more markets’? And Charlie McMenemin (no mean blogger himself) has some very pertinent questions in Duncan’s comment thread about how recent … Read more

On Ireland and the case for Scottish independence

One wonders whether in the future small and medium-sized countries will begin to worry when commentators start using their economies as case-studies: whom the gods of economic history wish to destroy, first they make them examples from which wider lessons should be drawn? Everyone remembers that this was the case with Ireland and its apparent economic miracle. For free-marketeers, Ireland showed the virtues of providing a business-friendly environment with its competitive cuts in corporation tax. Young George Osborne, for example, … Read more

RTE cuts live coverage of bailout

Last night, during one of the most significant press conferences in the history of the Irish State, while Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan officially announced the detail of the bailout, predictably enough the Irish twitter stream erupted like nothing I’ve seen before. The near homogeneous fury was of course channelled in the direction of Brian Cowen et al. However, between the hours of approx 7.45pm and 9.30pm RTE appeared to do its best to somehow join Fianna Fail on the stage of pantomime … Read more

Backfilling a black-hole

Our very own tragicomedy appears in the form of elites whose strategic choices are made contradictory by the fact that, in their haste to wage their own class war against the peoples of Europe, they surreptitiously undermine the very currency union which was their own idea for facilitating capital accumulation on the continent

Economic crisis blogburst 1: Government in denial of bailout

The sovereign/bank debt story has moved on over the weekend, with the Government denying it was talking about triggering a bailout, and everybody else talking about the likihood that they would. So, with little or no attempt to editorialise, here’s some of the best commentary of the day: – Dan O’Brien suggests this is no longer a domestic only issue. The question of a bail out for Ireland may be secondary to a larger crisis in the Eurozone… – As … Read more