Europe probably has a Plan B, but does Ireland?

While it may not admit it, it is hard to imagine the EU not having a Plan B if the unthinkable - or rather not as unthinkable as it was six months ago - happens and the euro ceases to be.

Does Ireland have a Plan B though? Enda Kenny’s reply to that very question by Shane Ross gave us a response which was a cross between ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it/we’ve a few ideas floating around’ type response, which certainly does not inspire confidence.

However the citizens of the unfortunately named PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Greece ) are the ones suffering most for the sins of their governments and banks. Separately the countries are weak and marginalised, but this should prompt the PIIGS to get together to advocate as a group - after all there is strength in numbers.

This is certainly a path Enda Kenny should be pursuing. After all, as no one will speak for the PIIGs, we must speak for ourselves.

Others however are also coming up with their own Plan B. German industrialist and former pro-EU advocate Hans-Olaf Henkel has proposed in a new book, Save Our Money! He believes Germany should leave the Euro and with Holland, Finland, and Austria found a new currency called Nordeuro.

Fascinatingly, he also sees a place for Ireland in this: “Denmark, the Czech Republic, and Sweden would join immediately, and Ireland would, I think, be the first Euro Zone candidate to ascend into the Nordeuro.”

Others will argue that the logistical and political implications of the break-up of the single currency would be a nightmare.

Attempts to find a solution so far have been reactive and piecemeal but the EU’s leaders, Merkel and Sarkozy, will be keen to avoid the break up at all costs given the financial and political stability of an entire continent rests upon a solution.

In short, saving the euro, as well as planning for a post-euro EU are Plan Bs.

Whatever happens, our State and Government need to be prepared for it. The public have suffered enough from political inaction and denials. We should not have to suffer more.


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