The economic news from Europe last week was significantly better than it had been for some time.
At a major meeting in Brussels, Chancellor Angela Merkel finally seemed to yield to mounting pressure that Germany and the EU stronger countries stop their insistence on austerity measures only as the way forward for European recovery.
That was very good news indeed for the Irish, who along with Spain and other weaker economies have huge liabilities from taking over foundering banks and absorbing their losses.
Under the new EU direction, the member countries will jointly pay off the bank loans allowing the governments out from under the crushing debt burden.
It is essentially a federalization of the debt, a step towards a united federal Europe which may be the only way the euro and the connected fates of all EU countries can ultimately be bound together.
It could not have come at a better time for Ireland, given the upcoming harsh budgets and the continuing sense of overwhelming debt that has depressed the country.
Of course nothing is fully decided yet, but the skyrocketing market response was a clear indicator that Wall Street and the major European markets liked the new direction.
What is hard to fathom is how it took the Germans in particular so long to accept this reality.
For Ireland it seemed very good news indeed, but the situation will not be fully known until the renegotiation is concluded probably by October.
But this is obviously a major step forward for the Irish, and will send a signal of confidence at a critical time. 
It can only be hoped that what was begun in Brussels can be completed and introduced by year’s end.