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Who’s riding the Celtic Tiger?


A scene from an old Irish movie, "The Field", suits the two faces of the new boom in the Republic of Ireland: in a small village, strangers are seeking to buy a field that Richard Harris, “The Bull”, considers his family property and a barman criticizes him for mixing old and new occupants (“The English are gone”). Harris reply, threateningly: “gone, because I drove them out, gone… but not forgotten”. By replacing words as "outsiders" and "English" with "austerity" and "inequality", the bartender and the old Harris would argue just like those that in Ireland celebrate the recovered role of fastest growing EU economy and those that are still enduring its imbalances.

Decorations on the wall of a department store in the tourist area of Dublin. Purchases in the Republic of Ireland are again very high, which made it possible to reduce unemployment from fourteen to ten percent in just two and a half years. Statistics do not take however into account “side effects” that a rising cost of living has had on the most vulnerable part of the population. Photo Aldo Ciummo

A scene from an old Irish movie, “The Field”, suits the two faces of the new boom in the Republic of Ireland: in a small village, strangers are seeking to buy a field that Richard Harris, “The Bull”, considers his family property and a barman criticizes him for mixing old and new occupants (“The English are gone”). Harris reply, threateningly: “gone, because I drove them out, gone… but not forgotten”. By replacing words as “outsiders” and “English” with “austerity” and “inequality”, the bartender and the old Harris would argue just like those that in Ireland celebrate the recovered role of fastest growing EU economy and those that are still enduring its imbalances.

Likewise, while news reports are still upholding the “A” returned December 5 by S&P and other promotions (the A- by Fitch) and unemployment falling from fourteen to just over ten percent in two and a half years, the lingering effects of the economic turmoil are exacerbating the knowledge that the public unrecoverable costs of the banking crisis – calculated by Patrick Honohan, governor of the Irish central bank, in forty billion – mean that less resources will be available to heal additional sacrifices that even the recovery is now demanding: in some areas of Dublin property prices have risen up to forty percent in the last eighteen months, budget cuts in the Health service have been introduced and costs of living are rising.

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