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Until 2008 Ireland was the poster boy of neo-liberal politicians. With its economic growth for over two decades at times reaching Asian proportions, the so-called Celtic Tiger apparently demonstrated the veracity of liberal economic principles: global openness, low taxation and a flexible labour market. Ireland was held up as a model by the (then) UK Shadow Chancellor George Osborne as a lesson for the UK and by the President of the European Commission Manuel Barroso as a model for Europe. Today Ireland is one of the bankrupt states of Europe, but Irish politicians like to claim that Ireland is not Greece or Portugal.
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