Tomorrow : squeaky-bum time in Greece. And Ireland


Tomorrow could decide the outcome of the south’s election. “WHA-A-T?”  I hear you yell. “The south’s election isn’t until 2016 – have you gone mad?”

Well the jury is still out on that last question but let me remind you that tomorrow there will be a general election in Greece. The party the polls suggest will win is a left-wing party called Syriza. Not left-wing in the sense that the Irish Labour Party is left-wing, which is not at all. This party says it’s playing for keeps. The Greek people have, like the Irish, suffered economic hardship for the past few years. A soft-left party, PASOK, got over 40% of the vote in 2009 and then went on to co-operate with Europe and do the bail-out thing. Reaction? PASOK is now somewhere around 4% in the polls.

The parties in Ireland are keeping a Skibereen-eagle-eye on what’s happening there. Shane Ross, a spokesman for the large group of independents in the Dail, has tweeted his good wishes to Syriza. Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Féin, has gone one better and phoned the Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras to wish him God speed. Meanwhile at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Enda Kenny has warned the great and the not-so-good world leaders that if Greece got a debt right-down, which Tsipras says he’s going to insist on if elected, then that would damage the south of Ireland’s “hard-won credibility”. In other words, it’ll look as though the economic mangle that Fine Gael and Labour have put the Irish people through was in the end unnecessary.  End also told the people in Davos that “It’s very ease to lose all that hard-won gain and recovery by drifting towards a sense of populism without clarity as to what that might deliver”.  Enda, it’s important to stress, wasn’t really talking to the big shots at Davos: they don’t really give a damn what he says as long as he does what he’s told, which he has. He wasn’t even speaking to Tsipras – that stuff is all Greek to Enda. The man and the party Enda was talking to – or talking about – was Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin.

Because if Syriza wins tomorrow’s election and holds true to its word that it’s not going to allow the Greek people to suffer for the financial sins of others, then the parallel with the situation in the south of Ireland will be unavoidable. As for Greece, one of two things could happen. It could be kicked out of the eurozone and abandoned to its fate by the biggest club in the world; or it could force the financial big-wigs of Europe to think again, and write off large chunks of the debt which the Greek people are groaning under. If the first of these alternatives happen and Greece is cut adrift and starts springing leaks all over the boat, Enda will be able to look wise and the Irish people of the south could well elect his party again in a year’s time. If on the other hand the latter proves to be the case – Syriza demands a write-down of debt and an EU that doesn’t penalise the weakest,  the hand of Sinn Féin and the independent TDs like Shane Ross will have been strengthened immensely,  and Fine Gael could find itself could find itself looking at the kind of rating PASOK have in Greece at the moment – 4%.  My  God – that’s even lower than Labour.

With all eyes on Greece, tomorrow will be squeaky-bum time.

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11 Responses to Tomorrow : squeaky-bum time in Greece. And Ireland

  1. Dara January 24, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    Auto correct. You’ve gotta love it. ‘if Syria wins tomorrow’s election’… is it SwiftKey of Microsoft office that’s trying to tell us something?!

    • Jude Collins January 24, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

      Nice one, Dara. I’m happy to say I’ve just stuck in the necessary extra letter…

    • pat.stapleton January 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      It is my humble Opinion,EDNA Kenny along with his pals from LBR,FF are ALL Guilty of TREASON,thus they MUST be Arrested ,Jailed,their Assets seized and JUDAS Pensions Revoked [on an unability to pay base] ,this of Course would be just the Beginning.Then the IRISH people [not the recent happymeal bogus irish passport holders] Should relook into our Continued membership of this Monster that calls Itself the EU/US .G.I.B.T.T.I.our country is NOT for sale.EVER .NO TO THE EU

  2. michael c January 24, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    Tsipras is a sound man .When Gerry Adams was arrested last year,The Syrizia leader was straight out of the blocks demanding Gerry’s release and proclaiming : “Gerry Adams does not stand alone”.

  3. Perkin Warbeck January 24, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    Squeaky-bum time is a not at all inappropriate choice of title, Esteemed Blogmeister, for any discussion to do with Greece.

    Ah, yes, Greece, the home of what homophobes often quite scurrilously classify as the ‘Greek custom’. Or, in more hideous contemporary terminology: ‘the bottom line in LGBT lechery’.

    They laughingly point to Lesbos as the island home or gaff of Sappho.

    That many of these homophobes happen to call Hibernia home is doubly ironic, considering what gifts the Greeks have bestowed on Paddy the Irishman and Patty the Irishwoman in the Land of Literary Irony. For example, Ulysses, the title of the greatest novel in the Q’s English. Ever, according to noted Greek scholar, D’Norris.

    Why, one may ask, was there no reciprocal arrangement so that some myopic Mikos Moustakous might pen a duffle-bag of a novel, entitled ‘Cuchulainn’?

    The answer is simplicity herself: logic (derived from the original Greek word for ‘the art of reasoning’). Thing is, the compatriots of Nana Mouskouri, Aristotle Onassis and Zorba the Quinn stubbornly prefer to speak a so-called language which is,erm, Greek to the rest of us. These residents of the continental fringe just don’t do cringe.

    That alone would automatically rule out F. O’Toole’s favourite chapter: try to imagine a wandering uber-human being born under the sign of Leo adopting a morally and linguistically superior tone towards Citizen Achilles. Try, and fail. He would surely have got more than a Jacob’s biscuit tin for his troubles. Strange (even queer) folk the Greek who for reasons best known to themselves insist on refusing to be talked down to.

    The same Fintan is in seriously fine fettle in The Unionist Times today. That would be Fiontan O Tuathail in the original Greek. Which may or may not have something to do (though Perkie’s inner Hellenic raiser suspects it might well do) to another ground and wind-breaking event.

    ‘Tuathal’ is, after all, the ancient Greek term for Anti/Auntie Clockwise and this week saw an extremely private person (he told us so himself, repeatedly) born under the sign of Leo went public.

    To tell the electorate of the Free Southern Stateen something which had the Sapphos of the Dworkin Class tossing their Erin go Bras high in the air of Eireland with Joy unconfined. That he buttoned his shirt anti-clockwise. Sa treo tuathalach, in the ancient Greek.

    Now the reason why ladies’ shirts (especially of a blue hue) are buttoned on the left hand side dates back to the times of Hausfrau Victoria Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Old Vic, being above all this sort of domestic squalor, had maids and (more in waiting) to tend to the tedious task of buttoning up her blouses. As the maj of these Madges were right-handed its only logical (a word of Greek origin) that the buttons of Her Maj should be on the left or sinister or tuathal side.

    in his piece today the in-fine-Gael-fettle Fintan is directing his number 12 brogue in the direction of, erm, the M.O.P.E.s (Most Oppressed People Ever), i.e, the Paddy Stinks and Mickey Muds of Eireland. As guru in chief of the D.O.P.E.s. (Demonisers Of Pearse’s Eireland) this is what Fintan has his o’toole box for.

    Today he is paying homage to the Great White Hope of the D.O.P.E’s, one, Hubert Butler, renowned assayist and author of ‘Do not Go Gentry into that Dark Night’. For his bravery (it would seem that Hubie was also born under the sign of Leo) in assisting the Hebs into Hibland during the Second Great War to end all Wars.

    Seemingly, so that these emboldened Poldies might not bloom unseen among the Hairy Molies of Hibland..

    Or, perhaps, that should read Civil War to end all Civil Wars. As further research is uncovering more evidence that both WW1 and WW2 were in fact primarily family squabbles which involved one side of the Saxe-Coburgs playing hide and seek with the other side to see which side would get to say ‘Gotcha !’ first. Involving, admittedly, telophone numbers of willing donkeys.

    Fintan the Fine Gaeler, of both fettle and mettle, is only too pleased to act as it were, as Hubert’s butler. Which is scarcely surprising as buttoning left-sided buttons comes naturally to those of ancient Greek stock,bearing the name of ‘Tuathal’.

    Little wonder that Fintan the Butler was too occupied to pay any attention to the latest instance in the ongoing demonisation of Pearse’s Eireland.(D.O.P.E.) The entirely trivial matter of the Free Southern Stateen ‘Government’ this week directing Bord Gais Eireann to divest itself forthwith of its ancient hempen homespun title and to tog itself out in the new silky Saville Row tin of fruit: Gas Network Ireland.

    Gas stateen entirely, the F.S.S.

  4. ben madigan January 24, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    published the latest polling stats here together with some pics of the last pre-election rally in Athens

  5. Iolar January 24, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    Surprise, surprise, current events in Greece now come with televised images of riot police and protests courtesy of the ‘hard left.’ Viewers are advised about Greek protests turning violent. The reality is that Alexis Tsipra continues to question the need for austerity policies while unearned wealth remains concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Time will tell if the Greeks come to Mr Tsipra bearing a mandate to deal with financial mismanagement.

    The administration in Dublin castigates its political opponents about fantasy economics. No expense is spared however, when it comes to the cost of state visits. The British Prime Minister confirmed that securing and hosting the G8 summit at Lough Erne in the north of Ireland cost more than £80 million. Visits by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Barack Obama cost Ireland €36 million.

    As An Taoiseach rubs shoulders with the captains of industry and others who have wealth without work, many people in the west of Ireland are obliged to either boil or purchase water for drinking purposes while health and social services remain underfunded throughout the country.

  6. Ryan January 24, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Greece will not be leaving the Eurozone regardless who wins the Greek General Election, which most certainly will be Syriza. Greek GDP is around 1% of the entire Eurozone economy, I cant see Germany kicking them out. I think compromise will be reached by both sides when it comes to writing off debts, easing up on austerity, etc.

    One way or another, Enda Kenny and Fine Gael are out at the next election along with their buddies Labour. Could SF’s Gerry Adams be Taoiseach in 2016? 5 years ago, not even 5 years ago, 3 years ago this would have been regarded as the stuff of fantasy but is it now? No, its perfectly possible. Remember, if you said in, say 1990, that one day Martin McGuiness and Ian Paisley would be Joint First Ministers of NI and known as the “chuckle brothers” you would have been laughed out of the room. Or that Martin McGuiness would meet Queen Elizabeth II not once but on 3 different occasions and even go as far as saying that he LIKES her as a person, again you’d more likely be put in a strait jacket.

    Sinn Feins Gerry Adams as Taoiseach? Stranger things have happened…..

    • Wolfe tone January 26, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

      Ryan, you need to cool the jets. What mcguinness has done is no surprise to some. ; )

  7. Séamus Ó Néill January 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    Truth never needed wisdom… it’s always staring you in the face….

  8. Diarmuid O'Flynn January 25, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    Greece CANNOT be kicked out of the Euro, not per any Treaty.