Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder has just published his memoirs “Decisions: My Life in Politics”. As the leader of one of the most influential countries in the EU from 1998 to 2005 and a committed European, he must rank as a key observer of the political scene during that period.
We Irish like to think that we exercise a disproportionate weight within the EU, with Bertie Ahern credited in our media with almost superhuman powers of negotiation and conciliation. The last Irish presidency achieved agreement on two highly contentious issues, the draft EU Constitution and the EU Commission presidency. Bertie Ahern was feted in the Irish media as the “Negotiator Supreme”. The Irish media told us of the standing ovations from his fellow premiers which greeted each of his triumphs.
How strange then that Bertie doesn’t rate even a single mention in the Schroder memoirs, much of which are devoted to European and EU politics.
Perhaps it’s an appropriate wake-up call to remind us that the “Celtic Tiger” economy actually represents only 1% of the overall EU economy. The reality is that we’re only the pimple on the backside of the EU economy and our politicians should stop deluding us that everyone else in Europe is looking at us with envy and to us for leadership on how to build a successful economy.
Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Times, the Irish Independent and the Irish Examiner.
The following letter in response published in the irish Independent:
I was perplexed to read Peter Molloy's attempt to link the fact that Bertie has not appeared in Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's memoirs with the notion that Ireland does not have a good economy and that our economic transformation is nothing to be proud of (Letters, November 3).
Having read Mr Molloy's communist diatribes many times I'd have to doubt if there's ever been an Irish citizen more willing to put down his own country's successes. It is appropriate that he was reading Schroeder's memoirs though.
Mr Molloy's hero is a man who presided over the virtual collapse of the mighty German economy mining for fool's gold in a socialist pit.
KEITH REDMOND, HOWTH ROAD, SUTTON
My response, published by the Independent:
I laughed out loud when I read Keith Redmond‘s attack (Letters, November 8) on my "communist diatribes." His letter significantly misrepresented the content of my earlier letter on which he has chosen to comment, while his attempt to label me "communist" suggests that McCarthyism is alive and well and living on the Howth Road.
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