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Well he would have been blamed and excoriated if the Irish economy had continued to implode, so I suppose he is entitled to claim some credit when it recovered.  But yes, I agree, the degree to which the Government can actually claim credit for the recovery is generally overrated. They could also have done a lot more harm - such as cut core social welfare rates - which thankfully, largely due to the presence of the Labour party in his prior Government, they didn't do.  

Many on the left will also argue they should have "burned the bondholders" in Irish banking debt, and perhaps they should have. But perhaps the low interest rates which are now enabling the relatively cheap re-financing and reduction of national debt are also, at least partly, because they didn't do so. The debt GDP ration is due to be down to c. 75% this year, down from 120% a few years ago - and NAMA has still to unwind some of the bad assets it accumulated.  That's a pretty major reduction in a short period and puts Ireland in a significantly better position to face the headwinds of Brexit and Trump.

Is there another economy in Europe which can claim a similar recovery?  I suspect the Greeks would be glad of it.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 24th, 2017 at 04:18:23 PM EST
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