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I note that Tsipras refused to inherit a Troika agreement.

I note that Tsipras was elected in 2015, not 2011, in a country which is generally agreed to be insolvent (whereas Ireland, marginally, was not), where the political climate within the EZ is changing and there is widespread (and not just left-wing) acceptance that austerity is not working and a growing realization that alternative or additional approaches must be taken, and finally, where we do not know yet whether or to what degree he will succeed.

I repeat and amplify my earlier comment that if you offered Tsipras an economic recovery on a par with Ireland's over the past 4 years (yes, despite austerity)  he would probably bite you hand off and he would also probably be re-elected by a grateful electorate in 4 years time - something which may not happen to the Irish Government.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:58:00 AM EST
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Except he wouldn't get it because Greece isn't Ireland.

I keep saying this, and you keep not hearing it: Ireland's economy is fundamentally in reasonable shape: favourable demographics and infrastructure. The achievement of austerity was stopping it growing - its almost certainly made measures like debt/GDP ratios and unemployment much worse than was necessary in a world where the place wasn't being run by econo-religious maniacs.

The Greek economy is fundamentally fucked: poor demographics and crappy infrastructure. All austerity is doing there is killing people.

The fundamental difference is that Ireland spent enough EU money wisely to build an infrastructure to support growth. Greece did not: too much of it ended up being siphoned off by corruption. Obviously lots of EU money was skimmed in Ireland too, but it's the difference between 30% and 60%.

What Ireland needed was enough support to rebuild its banks and tide us over through a rough patch. Instead we got manic cutting that caused a five year depression and what, 16% unemployment at peak?

The excuse that the government were too stupid, too clueless, too craven or too powerless to challenge the maniacs isn't a very good one.

Even now we've ended up paying as much in interest on loans as we spend on education while we're cutting support teachers from vulnerable kids and telling the sick elderly that they're going to have to pay more, faster for nursing home support.

Allowing the economy to take its head out of the bucket of ice you've been holding it in doesn't deserve praise or thanks. Grateful electorate my arse.

Greece needs help to reorient itself and it needs help rooting out corruption and building infrastructure that should have been built over the last twenty years. More austerity will just kill it.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 08:27:22 AM EST
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I don't disagree with any of the above, but that doesn't mean I think Noonan is happy to see mass youth Unemployment in Greece or Spain: merely - as I said in the comment which sparked this exchange - that his focus is understandably on the Irish economy. In fact I doubt his analysis of Greece's problems is all that different from yours, but we are then both into the realm of speculating on what he really thinks, which I don't think is a very productive argument to make.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 11:10:02 AM EST
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