Unfortunately it wasn't the banksters and hedge fund criminals:
LONDON — Ireland ousted its discredited government on Saturday, electing new leaders who pledged to restore faith in the country after the trauma of a calamitous economic collapse.
With most of the votes counted after the general election on Friday, a coalition government of the center-right Fine Gael and the Labour Party was on track to win a comfortable majority in Parliament.
Fianna Fail, which has run the government for 14 years, suffered its worst showing in its more than 80-year history. It won 78 seats in 2007; this time, it was on course to win as few as 25. Of the 47 parliamentary seats in Dublin, only the seat held by Brian Lenihan, who served in the government as finance minister, was set to go to Fianna Fail.
Fianna Fail has been blamed for presiding over an economy that spiraled out of control and then, unregulated and unmanageable, came crashing down. In 2008, when Ireland’s spectacular building boom collapsed, and the Irish banks that had fueled it threatened to collapse, too, the government, led by Prime Minister Brian Cowen, tried to solve the crisis by pledging to guarantee the banks’ debts.
That move has proved to be a huge drain on the nation’s finances, with the government pumping tens of billions of dollars into the banks to keep them afloat. In November, Ireland reluctantly accepted an international loan worth about $93 billion; in return, it pledged to adhere to a brutal four-year austerity program and to repay much of the money at onerous interest rates.
The terms of the loan humiliated Ireland, and many economists say they are worried that the country will be unable to keep up with even the interest payments.
Mr. Cowen, whose resignation as party leader last month led to the election, said in a television interview that his government had nothing to be ashamed of. He said he had explained his decisions fully and repeatedly.
“Everything I did, I did for the good of this country as I saw it; I did it conscientiously,” he told the state broadcasting network RTE.
You want to know what Cowen and the ruling bankster party did for the country?
Unemployment is up to 13.8 percent (it was as low as 4.2 percent as recently as 2005); public spending has been savagely and repeatedly cut since 2008; the deficit has risen to 14.3 percent; and current predictions suggest that 100,000 people will emigrate in the next several years, from a population of 4.3 million. The bill from the struggling banks may, in the end, total upward of $135 billion 100 billion euros, in an economy with a G.D.P. of $220 billion 160 billion euros.
Heckuva job, Mr. Cowen.
And how's that austerity thing going?
Not so well, I think.
Which is why thousands are sailing again:
Can't wait to see what austerity does here.