Thursday, February 05, 2009

Taoiseach Cowen calls for IMF to solve problems

One of the biggest problems facing Irish business is that the relative strength of the Euro, particularly with sterling, has made it very difficult to maintain exports and/or profit margins.

If Ireland still had the Punt as our currency, we could devalue to make our exports more competitively priced. As members, and very small ones at that, of the Eurozone, we have little say in the value of the currency and there’s no possibility that the currency will be devalued to suit our particular needs. After all, even in our pomp we were still only 1% of the wider EU economy.

However, a couple of months back something accidentally triggered a fall in the value of the Euro: a claim by a union leader that the Taoiseach had raised the spectre, during Social Partnership talks, of the IMF having to be called in.

So how could we engineer a repeat of this “accident”, without incurring the wrath of our EU and Eurozone partners?

Barack Obama swept into power on the back of a simple but very powerful and populist slogan: “Yes we can”.
Labour’s Eamon Gilmore nicked this at his party’s annual conference with his “is féider linn” call in the leader’s closing speech.
Now, in the Dáil, Taoiseach Brian Cowen has defiantly told the opposition that he’ll “do it my way” or, in the first official language “im modh féin”.

So Taoiseach Cowen should organise a series of open air rallies around the country to mobilise and motivate the populace, with local FF supporters primed to turn up with placards and rehearsed chants in supports of our leaders declared modus operandi.

To make it a bit snappier, any PR guru would advise that “im modh féin” be reduced to its appropriate TLA, that is, IMF.

Picture the sight beamed across the world by 24-hour TV channels - a belligerent Cowen roaring incoherently off a platform or the back of a truck, to a huge crowd chanting “IMF, IMF, IMF” and waving placards bearing those same initials.
That should be enough to send the Euro into freefall and take much of the pressure off our hard-pressed exporters.

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