An editorial in the highly influential Observer newspaper in London makes a strong argument for Europe to give the Irish a break after the country’s economic collapse.
The general election, which has been a resounding success for Fine Gael and failure of monumental proportions for Fianna Fail, will see a change of government but The Observer argues that the incoming group is saddled with the sins of the past.
“They are, however, stuck with those same policies in the shape of the deal made with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union,” reads the editorial.
The perception in Ireland that the bailout was a case of a country being taken advantage of is shared in the editorial.
“This deal is punitive, unjust and unsustainable. The Irish undoubtedly had to pay a price for the follies of the governments they elected. Mass unemployment, mass emigration, rapidly falling standards of living and rising poverty are horrifying to see and clearly punishment enough.”
With that in mind, the editorial goes on to say the EU/IMF should step up to the plate to help. And one way it argues that could be done, is being open to renegotiating the bailout deal with the new Irish government
“If democracy and European solidarity are to mean anything, they should get a sympathetic and fair-minded hearing,” reads the editorial.