So when did the economic power house of Europe become so interested in this tiny little windswept island? Why did Angela Merkel extend the Taoiseach the honour of all the protocols … red carpet, honour guard, brass band etc?
Particularly as back in March the Chancellor barely gave the Taoiseach the time of day at a European People’s Party get together in Helsinki. Those meetings are designed specifically to strengthen the personal relationships between all the leaders of parties in the centre-right grouping in the European Parliament. But all that Merkel would afford Kenny back then was 10 minutes of face time.
So what’s changed that makes Ireland worthy of a full two hours? I consulted Political Correspondent colleagues in Der Spiegel (the presitigious current affairs weekly magazine), Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany’s daily paper of record) and ARD (public broadcaster). We are it would seem still a useful salutary tale. All were agreed that Frau Merkel would be keen to present Ireland as an example of how the existing bailout mechanisms being sufficient to the job. And if that were the case then Germany wouldn’t have to get out the chequebook.
Which is more or less precisely the opposite of what Enda Kenny went there to argue, but that doesn’t seem to have been picked up on by German media. Listen to the podcast here http://tinyurl.com/coczofn