Last week, news that Waterford Crystal was reopening in the summer created some optimism that should create more confidence but that could be easily changed with the threat of disruption now beginning in the running of Government. Last week, also, the international money markets saw the euro as being under threat.
Weaker countries like Greece seem incapable of resolving their economic problems. Will Ireland join them as a basket case in the euro zone?
This could all happen in the next month, quicker than we realise, if the public pay issue gets out of control. The signs in the past week are not too good. With the Finance Minister not in the best of health and the Taoiseach pre-occupied with the Northern dilemma, the drift seems to be getting worse. Is Ireland a country that lives in hope?
We paid ourselves too much when we joined the euro. Pay deals were well ahead of what was agreed in Germany and the base of the euro was in Germany which has always have an anti inflationary approach. Ireland had an inflationary spiral with the property market gone wild. Now is the reckoning time. Has this been accepted or is the blame game and feeling of self pity still going on?
The public service pay dispute still looks far from resolved. Savings are needed, pay has been cut but does anyone have a magic formula? Reduced numbers in the public service could be a way of saving more than is budgeted for at present.