Welcome to Ireland, Where Mortgage Payments Are Optional and the Banks Are a Mess

misebogland

With laws that make foreclosures almost impossible and a financial sector stuffed full of bad loans, the Emerald Isle’s problems might only just be getting started

Among the many nasty side-effects of the European debt crisis, bigotry’s return to pleasant conversation may be the least-commented upon, and the nastiest.

Granted, few actually say Germans are power-hungry, anal-obsessed skinflints. And it’s only usually hinted broadly that Spaniards are hot-blooded, undisciplined spendthrifts; and Greeks shiftless tax-dodgers. Those people, you know?

Likewise, Ireland’s debt-fueled housing boom and banking bust–which eventually dragged the entire country under–is often dressed in ethnic livery. The Irish went on a bender and they’re dealing with the hangover. They’re guilty, have confessed their sins and willing to years of painful austerity budgets as penance.

That last bit, the submission to painful remedies demanded by foreign authorities, has earned Ireland something of a starring role in the ongoing European…

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