German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble during a special session of the German Bundestag over the proposed bailout package for Greece last week.  Photograph: EPA/BERND VON JUTRCZENKA

There is no euro zone crisis. It’s impossible to understand what’s going on now if you start out with the assumption that there is a single community (...)

Brussels all-nighter.... Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (right)  and Finance Minister Euclide Tsakalotos leave at the end of the  euro zone summit on Monday.   Photograph:  Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

What’s the difference between the Mafia and the current European leadership? The Mafia makes you an offer you can’t refuse. The leaders of the Europea(...)

Illuminatus-in-chief?  Klaus Regling, chief executive officer of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).  Photographer: Graham Crouch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By rejecting an attempt to force their elected government from office, the Greeks have acted as good Europeans. They have given the European Union a c(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told Greece that “in Ireland’s case we did not increase income tax; we did not increase VAT; we did not increase PRSI”. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland 2:11

In a normal democracy, urgent questions are asked when the prime minister says things that are wildly untrue. Was he lying or deluded? Which of these (...)

Migrants try to  board lorries bound for the United Kingdom in Calais this week. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Migration is always a matter of perspective. Or rather of two perspectives. When our own beautiful young people fall from a collapsing balcony in Berk(...)

‘The payments were cut by one-third in 2014 from €150 to €100 for primary school children aged four to 11, and from €250 to €200 for secondary school students aged 12 to 17. This was a cold, deliberate choice to increase poverty among the children we know to be most vulnerable.’ Photograph: Getty Images

In government, as in medicine, the first principle should be – first do no harm. And in a State that has a shocking crisis of child poverty, the first(...)

Breathtaking: Marty Rea Richard is like nothing on earth, an ethereal creature who seems to float over the ground in his Japanese robes. This captures exactly the conception of kingship that will doom him in DruidShakespeare

The most obvious thing about Garry Hynes’s extraordinary production of Shakespeare’s Henry plays is that it is not as previously advertised. When the (...)

‘Larry Goodman’s fortune in the 1980s was built on his brilliant and relentless use of the massive EU and State subsidies available to the beef industry.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

I have never taken LSD but Irish politics reminds me that I don’t need to. The flashbacks to bad trips keep coming without chemical assistance. A liti(...)

‘One of the best of the Beit paintings to be sold at Christie’s is David Teniers’s depiction of a Flemish country dance, the Kermesse (detail, above). As a work of art, it is delightfully anarchic, with groups of people dancing, shouting, pointing and reeling with intoxication. As a depiction for the dance around the notion of the “public trust” in this whole affair, it is all too symbolic.’

It is an awkward word for an awkward action: deaccessioning. The very fact that it was necessary to make up a new word for it suggests that what is go(...)

Mary Lavin: the writer led her stories into unexpected ground. Photograph: Evelyn Hofer

Mary Lavin’s contemporaries found it hard to place or to contain her unsettling stories. Frank O’Connor, a close friend, said that “an Irishman readin(...)