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Archive for April, 2012

French Revolution Guillotines Treaty

I AM thinking of going back on the drink next Sunday night. After more than 20 years on the wagon, I must issue a warning to innocent citizens that I intend to hit the bottle.

Husbands should lock up their wives. Pubs should close their doors. Motorists in the south Dublin region should steer clear of the roads.

There are two reasons for such a wild decision.

First, at about 9pm next Sunday, there could be good cause for a battered nation to celebrate.

At around that time, exit polls should show that Francois Hollande will be elected president of France. The implications for Europe and Ireland could be momentous.

Dick Turpin Economics

WHEN in trouble, raid the peoples’ pension fund.

It worked wonders. When money was needed to rescue the banks there was only one pot of gold left. Back in 2009 the Fianna Fail lads pillaged the peoples’ pension fund. New laws were rushed through the Dail to allow them to steal billions to prop up the banks. By the time they had finished pumping over €20bn into AIB and Bank of Ireland there was little left for pensions.

But, bravo, the banks were safe. The minister for finance himself had directed that the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) should be converted into a bankers’ slush fund.

Leaders’ Questions 18th April 2012

Leaders’ Questions 18th April 2012

On Yer Bike, Monsieur Sarkozy

SHOULD Enda Kenny back Francois Hollande, the socialist French presidential candidate?

This morning, he could do a lot worse than hop on the government jet and join Mr Hollande at a mass rally he is holding in Villepinte, outside Paris. The hot favourite for the presidency enters the final week of the first round of his campaign with the wind at his back.

Enda’s appearance on a platform with Francois would hardly go down a bomb with Nicolas Sarkozy. The incumbent French president is struggling to compete with Mr Hollande by holding his own rival rally down the road in the Place de la Concorde.

There is a lot at stake for Ireland — and Europe — in the French contest.

Good News from Bad Anglo

Last week, TDs were twice summoned into the Dail chamber for separate unscheduled announcements within 48 hours. The first summons was for the date of the referendum on the Fiscal Treaty. The second, for the details of the Anglo Irish promissory notes deal.

The official government line is that there is no connection between the referendum on Europe’s Fiscal Treaty and Europe’s green light for a delay on repaying the Anglo debt. The Government is scared stiff of getting up the nose of the European Central Bank, so the pretence has to persist that the twin stories — running in tandem to the hour — are just a coincidence.

In the world of realpolitik, there is now a better chance of the treaty being passed if Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan can convince us that the Anglo notes breakthrough is the first of a series of concessions from Europe.