Thursday, 17 November 2011

Ireland's Enda Kenny bane of euro?

Tomorrow, Friday 18 November 2011 (see calendar), prime minister David Cameron has an opportunity to impress chancellor Merkel in Berlin with his vision of British Europe.

More serious for the prospects of the eurozone were the statements from Enda Kenny, the prime minister of Ireland, at the press conference 16 November 2011, following talks with chancellor Merkel. Kenny thanked Germany for its help in saving the Irish economy, but he saw no chances for treaty reform.

The conflict between national referendum politics and the need for democracy, sufficient powers and leadership to meet at the European level may well earn Ireland and Enda Kenny a place in the end-of-history books, despite Kenny's confession that to unravel the euro is to unravel the EU.

For Ireland as an individual eurozone country, the painful reforms are starting to bear fruit, but what if the euro area implodes and – if we believe Kenny – the European Union?

Perhaps an Irish referendum could show the way out after the crash?

Ralf Grahn