Ireland Callingby John Spain
- "Greed is good", especially in Ireland it seems with pillars of society on the take
- Vintage pamphlets offer a glimpse at the rules of 50s-era Irish Catholicism
- A leap of faith by Ireland, the exit from the IMF/EU bailout
- A temporary detour from ecomic issues to Irish soccer madness
- Give Britain a break after decades of Irish emigration to the UK
The picture of the Irish bishops gathered in conclave with the Pope in the Vatican just over a week ago summed up what is wrong with the Catholic Church, not just in Ireland but in Rome as well.
If you were reading your world news last week you will know that the European Union leaders came to the rescue of Greece. The Greek economy is in crisis, it has a massive budget deficit, the country is at the limit of its borrowing ability, and without EU backing it would go belly-up.
Sound familiar? There but for the Grace of God and the spending cuts goes Ireland.
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen said as much last week after the EU summit. Greece needs to follow Ireland's example in getting its state spending under control. They have to cut their deficit.
One or two of the more optimistic economists here have started to predict that Ireland will emerge from recession later this year or early next year. That view is founded mainly on the fact that some of the world's major economies have already edged out of recession and started to grow a little again, and that world trade will pick up a little in the coming year as a result.
As an open economy heavily dependent on exports, we will benefit from this upturn and Ireland will come out of recession. That's the theory, anyway.
Much as I would like to, though, I'm not buying it myself. I don't think we're going to see much, if any, growth in the Irish economy this year or next year, and we'll be lucky to see it in the year after that.