Jim Carroll

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Ireland declares war on Germany. Aldi, Lidl to leave country in protest

The fuming has already begun. There was some fuming on Morning Ireland earlier and I reckon we’re in for a whole week of fuming. All thanks to the German ambassador to Ireland, Christian Pauls, who made a couple of observations …

Mon, Sep 17, 2007, 09:34

   

The fuming has already begun. There was some fuming on Morning Ireland earlier and I reckon we’re in for a whole week of fuming.

All thanks to the German ambassador to Ireland, Christian Pauls, who made a couple of observations about modern Ireland at a function last week. Per The Irish Times, Pauls said that:

Hospital waiting lists were chaotic

Everyone drives ’06 and ’07 cars.

Doctors who were offered salaries of €200,000 a year had described the salary as “Mickey Mouse money”.

Irish Ministers of State earn more that the German chancellor

20 per cent of the population were public servants.

US visitors had stopped coming to Ireland because of the heavy traffic

Ireland has a bleak time in the past due to the Famine

Ireland had a history “sadder than Poland”

A house had sold in Clontarf for over €20 million and one could buy a skyscraper for that in Frankfurt.

Those of us who call this little island home will surely nod our heads sagely at this lengthy list and go “mos def”.

But while the ambassador thought he was just speaking to members of the German Federation of Buying and Marketing Groups visiting Dublin, Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell was also at the event. And he was “shocked” at what he was hearing. I repeat “shocked”. It was as if Gay was hearing all this for the very first time.

“The ambassador should grow up. What he said was very undiplomatic and his contribution was somewhere between resentment and spite. He should not get away with what he said. I was totally taken aback.”

The German embassy doesn’t really know what all the fuss is about. Per their spokesman:

“He is a nice and polite man who is also a witty man. I don’t think he would insult the Irish people with his remarks. That would not be his intention. Sometimes he tends to be ironic and maybe they were meant to be ironic comments.”

Like I said, it’s going to be one of those weeks.