2009-02-22

The (bad) luck of the Irish

Do you hear that sound Mr Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability:
DUBLIN (AFP) – Up to 120,000 protesters brought Dublin city centre to a standstill on Saturday over government austerity measures aimed at stabilising the once high-flying economy now wracked by recession.

The demonstration came a day after the global economic crisis led to another political casualty elsewhere in Europe, with Latvia's prime minister quitting as his country grapples with deepening recession.

Organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and featuring teachers, police, civil servants and others, the Irish protest was the "first step in a rolling campaign of action," ICTU general secretary David Begg said.

Police put the number of protesters at up to 120,000.

Marchers are particularly opposed to a pension levy on some 350,000 public servants which is designed to save about 1.4 billion euros (1.8 billion dollars) this year.
Here's how Irish unemployment has been faring recently:



Ouch! 9.2%! And that's up from 8.3% in December and 7.8% before that. Jobless figures in Ireland are shocking, especially when compared to recent years where it has hovered between 4.4% and 4.6%. Before the "Celtic Tiger" days, Ireland's unemployment was often above 10%. It looks like the good fortune that has blessed Ireland in the last 10 years has developed into some rather bad fortune.

This is definitely the worst economic crisis since the Depression. Time will tell whether we surpass it.

Update: According to The Economist, Irish government bonds are running at 5.41%. Compare this to the 2.97% rate offered by Germany for the same currency and you can see how the market has responded to Ireland's fiscal situation (the Irish government ran a budget deficit of -6.6% in 2008).

1 comment:

Ron Lankshear said...

And a while ago they were the success story of the EU.

And another aspect of being in EU from the BBC.
 The
mystery of Ireland's worst driver


The worst driver is Polish in the records as Prawo Jazdy except that is Polish for Driving Licence the Guardia had been reading the heading not the names on the licenses.