Not for the first time in history of the eurozone is a country paralysed by a banking crisis. In Ireland in 2007 the housing bubble burst, house prices plunged dragging down the banking sector in the process. What did the government do? It nationalised its debt. Under the terms of the subsequent bailout it introduced austerity measures that ultimately helped balance the books and stimulate competitiveness. Today Ireland is slowly recovering.
So how do they view the situation in Cyprus? One woman said: “You have to hold on. It’s very difficult because it’s constant, it’s more tax, it’s more chipping away, when you think there’s no more to be taken, they come and take a bit more and you sort of feel sometimes it’s like a black hole, it’s never ending.”
Another Dubliner added: “Most people, when they first face something like this, they blame authorities. They will ask why did they do this to us, but the reality of it is the people themselves really choose much of this.
Economic analyst Alan McQuaid can nevertheless can see differences in the situations facing the two countries:
“In Cyprus’s case, it’s a little bit different. The money has been drawn into the country, there are certain question marks over it, is it legitimate money etc, but what you can say is that the banking sector could not survive the way it was in either country.”
Reporting for euronews in Dublin Audrey Tilve said:
“Ireland is catching up, thanks to drastic measures and in the main to its exports, but the Celtic Tiger is not what it used to be. Domestic consumption is down and unemployment, which was at 4% is now stagnating at around 14 % today. “