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Counting the Cost
Euro's woes
We look at Ireland as a model for cutbacks in times of economic crisis.
Last Modified: 20 May 2010 13:19 GMT



Part two

It seemed like such a good idea back on January 1, 1999. 

I remember it very clearly … I was a young cub reporter starting out on work experience at TV3 in New Zealand, and was asked by my boss to compile the world currencies graphic for that night's 6pm bulletin. 

The difference on that day was that – in addition to the dollar, the pound and the yen – we'd be including the euro for the very first time.

Eleven years later, and the vultures are circling.

Was it a good idea? Has it simply meant that when one part of the Eurozone sneezes (though to be fair, Greece's "ah-choo" was pretty major!) the rest of the bloc catches a cold?

Certainly the IMF and EU have reacted with their one-trillion dollar euro backup plan, and that was important to calm the markets and currencies. 

But this is a major test for the currency, and as Jim Rogers said on last week's programme, maybe the Euro's actually not got the legs left on it … certainly not the legs that it and the EU would have hoped for.

Anyway this week we're taking the Eurozone's woes one step further, and looking at a country which has, in a way, already "been there, done that". 

We're talking Ireland … still in the economic mire, make no mistake … but a country which did take the tough steps and is now something of a model for cutbacks in times of crisis.

These are, in many ways, the same steps Greece, Portugal and Spain have to take … the same steps which the Greek public is so angry about.

On the show this week we hear from Jim Power, an Dublin-based economist, who talks us through what Ireland did when its economy collapsed, and what the rest of Europe could learn from those steps.

We'll also look at other economic developments around Europe over the week, and hear from the boss of one of Europe's business powerhouses SAP, on how they think the crisis has been handled, particularly in its native Germany.

All that, plus a look at Qatar Holding's purchase of the famous British department store Harrods. Don't think we're about to get a branch here in Doha (!) but Shanghai might be on the cards.

Don't forget to follow us on twitter too … @AJCountingCost is the name to look for.

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2030; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0130, 1630; Monday: 0830; Tuesday: 0600.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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