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Now that Dec 15 has passed, I want to remark on a cloying cliché doing the rounds in the media in the last couple of months: the phrase, “waving goodbye to the troika”.
For me, this phrase implies a fond farewell on the part of the Irish people, crowds thronging the streets and airport, tears welling in their dewy eyes and hankies at the ready, as if bidding a reluctant, bittersweet adieu to some kindly benefactor, rather than a group that socialised private debt, slashed the wages and conditions of ordinary workers and who, without electoral mandate, inflicted austerity on, if not all, then the vast majority of Irish citizens.
There is, in this choice of wording, a suggestion of friendly disposition that is entirely misplaced, given the circumstances, but which speaks volumes about our national character.
I somehow doubt the media of our fellow ‘PIGS’ countries will be quite so benign in their analysis, when their time comes to part company with the forces that inflicted hardship on many for the benefit of an elite few.
Furthermore, the so-called “waving goodbye” may be, in a sense, somewhat premature, as, from all media reports since the announcement of the departure, their malignant legacy will persist, in the form of regular ‘check-ups’ on the State’s finances, long after they have discontinued having a direct hand in the affairs of our State.
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