Sobering politics these days in Ireland. I’m not sure our own government would be capable of passing a budget like this.
DUBLIN — Pressured by onerous debts and fears of financial contagion, the Irish government introduced one of the strictest budgets in the nation’s history Tuesday, raising taxes and slashing government and welfare spending to qualify for an 85 billion euro aid package from its European partners. … “This is a bailout for the speculators and the financial markets of the world. The I.M.F., the E.U. commission and the E.C.B. were over here 2 weeks ago, not in any sense as friends of the Irish people, but as friends of the speculators in the financial markets, and their strategy is to turn working people of this country into serfs,” Joe Higgins, one of the Irish parliamentarians who walked out of bailout discussions in Brussels a couple weeks ago with E.U. Commissioner Ollie Rehn, shouted into a microphone as crowds cheered.