Greencore boss gives his narrative on why Greeks got cold shoulder from Ireland
Patrick Coveney analyses approach of Noonan and Kenny on CNBC’s Squawkbox
Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney was not surprised at lack of support for Greece. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
In an interview on CNBC’s Squawkbox, Coveney (pictured) opined on why he thought the Syriza-led government in Greece was getting such a cold shoulder from Ireland in its campaign for a debt writedown.
“If you have kept a country together and inflicted shared and collective pain from some medium or long-term benefit, and someone else comes up with the political equivalent of a get-rich-quick scheme, it undermines the entire narrative,” said Coveney.
“Politically, the best thing that could happen for the [Irish] Government would be for the Greeks to be kicked out of the euro zone tomorrow.”
Coveney’s analysis may also explain why the Spanish and Portuguese administrations also remained a tad mute on the need for a better deal for Greece.
With an Irish election around the corner, having Greece’s version of Sinn Féin skewered on a hot griddle of austerity is undoubtedly beneficial to the Government. As an open economy, Ireland’s recovery narrative has got a lot of media attention, Coveney noted, before going on to explain why poorer nations also took hardline stances on the Greeks.
“If you go to some of the eastern European economies, where they’ve had to go quietly through much greater levels of pain than Ireland has and have a lower standard of living than Greece has even today, the idea that there is some alternative, [that] if you shout loud . . . and you hold a referendum, and on the basis of that you try and unwind credit deals you’ve put in place . . .
“I think, despite the fact that [Yanis] Varoufakis and others wandered around Europe talking to everyone looking for support . . . it wasn’t a great surprise to me that they didn’t get any, because the individual incentives weren’t there to give it to them.”