IRELAND: According to a recent poll on economic confidence among people in 19 countries, the Irish have the most pessimistic outlook about the future.
Some 15 years ago, the name “Celtic Tiger” was coined to describe the country, with its rapid economic growth. Ireland also saw a boom in house prices. But as is sometimes said, the higher you fly, the farther you fall. The economic bubble has burst, with house prices falling by nearly a third since 2007 and unemployment doubling to more than 10 per cent within the past year.
Most Irish adults feel the recession will last longer than two years.
Now nearly three-quarters of Irish adults believe the economic situation is the worst in their lifetimes, and most people believe things will get even worse. “It seems the Irish habit of finding a dark cloud in every silver lining continues,” writes Carl O’Brien in The Irish Times. “Most feel it will last well beyond two years.” In comparison, Americans believe the clouds will clear within the next six months, and “even the Russians”, not known for their sunny outlook on life, are more optimistic about their country's economy.
People in many countries blame banks and financial institutions for the crisis. But in Ireland, more people — nearly 40 per cent — blame the government. Globally, this view was held by 24 per cent, and in contrast, by only 5 per cent in Germany.