Teutonic Knights on White Chargers Rescue Celtic Tigress
Deaglán de Bréadún
If Ireland finally goes hopelessly, completely broke, will somebody come the rescue and who will it be? An article in a leading international publication this week suggests that the Germans will be our saviours.
Tony Barber writing in the Financial Times yesterday (19 March 2009) says that Germany’s finance minister Peer Steinbrueck and other politicians in that country “sometimes give the impression that Berlin is saving its ammunition for the battle that will really count – the rescue of a eurozone member state, such as Greece or Ireland, that may one day be unable to refinance its debt.
“That Germany would pay the necessary price to prevent the 16-nation eurozone from breaking up is no longer in doubt. But any country that benefited from German-led assistance would have to pay a heavy price, too, in strict controls on public spending and external surveillance of economic polity.
“The question is how a restive society, such as Greece, where riots have broken out in recent months, could be persuaded to swallow the medicine needed to keep it in the eurozone.”
Food for thought there: Greece is not the only restive society, there is plenty of potential for street disorder in Ireland too, especially with the Northern conflict showing signs of coming back to life – or perhaps that should be death.
A well-informed friend of mine suggested recently that the Germans would ride in on a white charger but the price would be abandonment of our low corporate tax rate. That doesn’t exactly make sense since it would affect employment levels here.
But certainly there would be a price to pay. And would we be prepared to pay it? At least it would solve the riddle as to whether we’re closer to Boston than Berlin.