Horses in a field in front of a new house which has been left unfinished in Co Leitrim. 
If the Irish government were hoping for a positive spin as they take over the presidency of Europe for six months they will be disappointed with the New Year’s Day hit job  article in The New York Times.

In an article entitled 'From Ireland to Greece: The New Fiscal Reality' in the print edition of the newspaper, Suzanne Daley, former National Editor and now a senior foreign correspondent, had nothing good to say.

“In Ireland government austerity measures have pummeled the fragile economy with cuts in service and higher taxes,” she writes.

“Everywhere, it seems abandoned housing projects rot, waist-high weeds sprouting from the cracks on the sidewalks.

“The proportion of households without a working adult is among the highest in the European Union and thousands of Irish continue to leave the country in search of work.

“Yet, the government, under pressure from its creditors, undertook another round of cuts last year, including its programs for children. At the same time it increased property taxes.”

The Times notes that despite European efforts to turn things around, “They have little to show for it in Ireland.”

Certainly not the type of vote of confidence the Irish were looking for at the beginning of the New Year from the world’s leading newspaper!