There's an interesting article by historian Roy Foster about the Irish economy on Cif. The swinging cuts in public spending in the recent Irish budget are a direct result of the collapse of the house price asset bubble that engulfed the Irish economy even more there than here in the UK.
One point I would take him up on is the conclusion :
How far the "people" forgive the government for the way it has treated them remains to be seen.Isn't it just like here in the UK though "the people" need to take responsibility for the debacle as well. When house prices are rising strongly and many people (not just property developers) are making money from property price rises we're all in on the scam to some extent. Imagine the headlines we would have had if the govt had stepped in to stop the bubble and caused a collapse - it would never have been forgiven. But many were saying house price rises were not sustainable at the time.
I think sometimes we need to stop blaming the politicians and look to our own fondness for making a quick buck as a major cause of the present economic crisis.
PS anyone interested in the Irish economy issue should also read "Gambling all for a prize not worth winning" by Fintan O'Toole about the NAMA asset bank solution.