Romania's Troika troubles
THE TROIKA may have given us a slap across the wrists over the level of our social welfare payments the last time they were in town, but we suspect the IMF-EU-ECB delegates still have a soft spot for Ireland. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a sojourn in the Merrion Hotel once a quarter?
And if proof of their grá for us was needed, Ajai “The Chopper” Chopra was spotted out and about in Dublin city centre enjoying a spot of retail therapy with his family after delivering the end of June review.
Compare this with the situation in our fellow bailed-out EU state Romania. Troika inspectors had to postpone their review of that country’s aid deal by a week because of the bitter power struggle raging between the country’s prime minister Victor Ponta and its president Traian Basescu, who faced an impeachment referendum yesterday.
The IMF had planned on starting its review mission on July 24th, but will begin instead tomorrow.
According to Der Spiegel, the usually calm Ponta has had several on-air rants about his rival, calling Basescu everything from “a duplicitous scoundrel” to a “scorpion that kills everything around him”.
The bizarre political showdown has caused alarm in Brussels, with Ponta receiving warnings from the European Commission over some of his recent actions. The rift has also put the country’s currency, the leu, under pressure and, according to analysts, has cast doubt over continued IMF support.
Lessons to be learned? If the rumours of growing tension between our coalition parties are true, let’s hope they can keep it under wraps, especially whenever our international paymasters drop by for a look at the books – after all we need The Chopper to keep signing the cheques.