OPINION

How Greece and Ireland are different

The article titled «The year of living dangerously as good times give way to rage» (December 13) states: «Ireland’s bailout was scarcely less [than Greece’s].» Yes, but how differently it was handled – by the government, unions, media, workers and population. The government immediately took very strong action, reinforced in their latest budget, for the good of the country, and as a glaringly obvious necessity – regardless of the «political cost» which always worries the Greek pygmies, and in the knowledge of almost certain defeat in the imminent elections; and the protests of the others were less bone-headed and shorter-lived than in Greece – possibly also due to the imminent elections, meaning that some of the «protesters» will soon actually have to be dealing with the problems themselves, instead of just criticizing the present government’s handling. No «loony left» freeloaders «boycotting the meeting,» no «anarchist freeloaders» throwing bombs, no knee-jerk strikes – and apparently no rise in the opinion polls for those advocating and taking such measures. Will the Greek population ever get real? Perhaps Papandreou’s «threat» of calling an election wasn’t such a bad idea after all. ROBERT SKAILES Athens