Irish Diaspora speaks out on IMF bailout
Strong opinions on how to move forward
“The bailout was a difficult decision that was made carefully. But if the government believes it’s in the best interest of the people, then we should trust that,” she said.
“People are skeptical about the government, but they do have the most intimate knowledge of finances,” she says.
Smyth believes the world should learn from Ireland’s boom and bust.
“We can take what’s happening in Ireland as a lesson of how quickly fortunes can change,” she says.
Smyth wonders about the consequences of letting the Irish banks fail.
“I do think that the Irish government should have taken it slower regarding backing the banks, so that they had a clearer picture of what exactly would be."
A positive outlook on Ireland’s misfortune is refreshing, and Brian Stack, managing director of CIE Tours, maintains just that.
“Things are not as bad as they appear. The Irish banks have assets, and in three or four years things will be fine,” he feels.
The bailout, according to Stack, is simply “a line of credit. It might be used, or it might not be used,” he adds.
“At a 5.8% interest rate, it’s a pretty good option.”
Martin Kehoe, who works in the finance industry, says that Ireland has lost track of its priorities.
“The long term consequences can be positive if Ireland invests in its base -- education and keeping multinationals based in Ireland,” said Kehoe.
“The last five years saw Ireland lose sight of sensible policy. The political parties in Ireland need to be more unified, put politics aside and find a common ground for the good of the country.”
Honoree Kieran Claffey of Price Waterhouse Coopers, has some recommendations for the EU bailout money.
“The funding from the EU should be segregated between the government and the banking sectors,” he said.
Claffey, like many others, believes that Ireland’s low corporation tax is “key to maintaining a safe future.”
Claffey doesn’t place much hope in the Irish politicians.
“History has shown that governments have a short-term outlook on these things, and that the long-term decisions and implications weren’t thought through,” he said.
Earl Hurd of 1-800-FLOWERS, believes that the EU’s persistence on Ireland to accept a bailout package was fueled by jealousy.
“Ireland was bullied into taking that bailout -- the rest of the EU was jealous of the boom in Ireland. They used this opportunity to level the playing field,” he says.
Hurl believes that the Irish banks should have suffered the consequences of their own actions.
“Sometimes in life, people fail. The Irish government should have let the banks fail, and pay for the consequences, just like with people,” he said.
Mike Hemingway, Business 100 honoree, believes the Irish government and the Irish banks “are in bed together.”
Hemmingway believes that the EU bailout was needed “to bring order to chaos.”
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