Election Update (01 March, 11:15am)

  • Sunday Business Post / Tom McGurkWhat a time to win a general election!: One would have to go back to the destruction by Sinn Féin of John Redmond’s old Nationalist party in the famous 1918 general election to find a comparison for what has befallen Fianna Fáil… Fianna Fail – the republican party – always claimed to be the party of the nation, with Fine Gael the party of the state… with the historical legacies of both the civil war and the partition/ northern crisis now receding into history, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil increasingly look like two increasingly similar European right-of-centre, post-Lisbon, European political entities… All the old political certainties are gone, the old catch-cries ring hollow, a generation of its most experienced players, in a truly undignified rump, have collected their pensions and left and now there is only the remnants of a party on the opposition benches of the 31stDáil… despite all our democratic energy as citizens on Friday, it may all yet amount to very little. Given the parameters of the ECB/IMF bailout, essentially we have elected not a sovereign government, but an alternative set of book-keepers to implement the instructions agreed last November. Never has Ireland voted in greater numbers and with such purposeful anger, never has there been such a political catastrophe inflicted on our traditional political loyalties and, ironically, never may some three million people have voted to less effect… The ironies abound this weekend, as in north Africa the Arab Spring stirs millions to live the democratic dream. We too once enjoyed that dream.
  • Sunday Business Post / Vincent BrowneEnda earned his glory, but nothing will change: There is a determination within the EU Commission, in the ECB and among the leading European powers (ie, Germany and France) that, at least for now, there can be no restructuring of the sovereign and bank debts. There may be a little leeway on interest payments, but no deviation from the thrust of the deal finalised on November 28 last. Olli Rehn made this clear in Brussels on Thursday. The bit in the Fine Gael manifesto about the bondholders is just plain strutting… Fine Gael in government, just as Fianna Fáil in government did a few weeks ago, will pay hundreds of millions even to bondholders not covered by the bank guarantee, because the ECB will instruct them to do so. There will be worse, much worse.
  • Sunday Business Post / David McWilliamsTime for Ireland to act boldly: In a crisis, some countries choose to survive and others don’t. If you are prepared to act boldly, you can turn things around. History is full of such examples. In the 1950s, both Uruguay and New Zealand were among the richest countries in the world. Both went into decline as agricultural markets in Europe shut down to them. Both have survived. Compared to other countries in Latin America, the Uruguayans have performed extremely well and their default on their national debt in 2002 did nothing to affect that performance… We talk about the ‘‘smart economy’’ and have given over much discussion to our corporate tax rate, yet the key to investment is the people not the tax rate and if your people are not as qualified as their counterparts abroad, we become less and less attractive, irrespective of the tax rate.
This entry was posted in Accountability, Bankers' Bailout, Budget, Debt Default/Restructuring, ECB/IMF, Economy, Elections, Emigration, EU, ireland, Solutions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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