Merkel Rejects Cyprus President’s Request for Cuddle

Nicosia, Cyprus – As Cyprus enters increasingly desperate straits under the quadruple pressure of bust banks, excessive government expenditure, an inability to borrow on international markets, and a housing crash, German Chancellor Angela Merkel repeated today that though she sympathised with the people of Cyprus, she would continue to refuse Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ increasingly urgent requests for a cuddle.

Anastasiades is desperate for a hug, but Merkel continues to refuse.

Anastasiades is desperate for a hug, but Merkel continues to refuse.

Said Chancellor Merkel: “We are currently engaged in constructive dialogue with the Cypriot government and our EU partners to find a resolution to this situation that will restore a sense of common purpose to the European project and remind us once again that we are all in this together.

“However, that does not include giving Mr. Anastasiades’ a cuddle to reassure him that Mutti Merkel still loves him,” added die Kanzlerin sternly. “He made this mess, so he has to clean it up first.”

Mr. Anastasiades has been increasingly vocal in recent weeks that, given the dire state of Cyprus’ economy, he really, really, needs a hug. “Jesus, I said I was sorry already,” mumbled Mr. Anastasiades, dragging deeply on a cigarette. He paused to take a quick swig from a hip flask. “I won’t do it again! But she says I’m a grown-up now so I have to pay my own debts.”

“She can be such a bitch sometimes,” he added gloomily.

Mr. Anastasiades said he wasn't sure how much longer he or Cyprus could go on unless Merkel gave him a cuddle soon.

Mr. Anastasiades said he wasn’t sure how much longer he or Cyprus could go on unless Merkel gave him a cuddle soon.

The strident debate goes to the heart of the crisis afflicting the Eurozone. Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, is effectively responsible for supporting other nations in times of economic downturn in order for the Eurozone to recover and prosper. Knowing this, certain nations threw a huge party and trashed the house in a coke-fuelled bender of epic proportions. A furious Merkel is refusing to pay for the damage unless the guilty parties forfeit their pocket money for the next five years.

“This irresponsible behaviour cannot be tolerated,” declared Merkel. “If I just hug the president of Cyprus now and tell him everything is OK, next week I’ll come home to find him in crotchless spandex pants getting a lap dance from sixteen hairy Greek prostitutes, all paid for with my credit card. A line must be drawn.”

Cyprus, however, came out fighting. “If she hadn’t left the keys to the drinks cabinet, none of this would have happened!” insisted Mr. Anastasiades indignantly. “So, really, it’s her fault! She knows what I’m like and she can’t just make it that easy for me to access the vault.

“Also, I could totally go for sixteen hairy Greek lap dancers right now,” he added wistfully.

"Yeah, that's what I'm talking about," growled Mr. Anastasiades breathily.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about,” growled Mr. Anastasiades breathily.

Opinion on the “Hug for Cyprus” has sharply divided Europe into those who favour an austere parental approach and those who believe in forgiveness, love, and free money.

“Nein!” said Augustus von Scheisskopf (35) when asked for his opinion on the streets of Frankfurt. “She’s our Mutti! It’s her job to look after us, not you.” He chomped stoutly on a chocolate bar, his jowls wobbling. “Mutti doesn’t love you,” he sneered before waddling away to beat some Turkish immigrants with his riding crop.

Cypriots, however, had radically different views. “Germans are hug Nazis,” said Kostas Fecklessaris (21) fervently. “You ask a German for a hug, and a billion euro, and all you get is a no. Tightwad cold fish Nazis.”

Leaders of fellow troubled nations like Spain and Portugal agreed with Mr. Anastasiades that Merkel needed to be more Latin and less Teutonic with her hugging. Greek PM Antonis Samaras said he agreed in spirit, but wasn’t talking to Mr. Anastasiades after his slanderous assertion that Greek women were hairy.

Perhaps the most sobering comments came from Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, however. “Oh, we’ve been nothing but good boys since the whole house party,” said Mr. Kenny. “We give her all our pocket money and she hugs us all the time. All the time…” he repeated with a thousand-yard stare. “It’s been years now since we’ve had our heads out of that ample German bosom. She’s got our Irish heads squashed between her giant Teutonic tits and now we can’t breathe!” Mr. Kenny gasped for air and dashed out of the room.

Cowen and Lenihan’s Modest Proposal: “All Bets Are On, Baby!”

Dublin – Stung by criticism that their economic policies favour wealthy bank bondholders at the expense of the Irish people, Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan have announced a modest proposal to restore confidence and stability in Ireland’s finances.

The Brians felt that wearing suits and standing up were essential to reassure markets of Ireland's financial stability.

The Brians felt that wearing suits and standing up were essential to reassure markets of Ireland's financial stability.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, Brian Cowen said, “We acknowledge that there is a great deal of anger running through the country at this moment.”

“The proposed new Budget will make life incomparably harder for all those people milling around outside the Golden Circle – whoever they might be.”

“The average peasant family will face tax hikes of up to €4,600. Unemployment of peons is set to increase rapidly as we lay off 20,000 public sector drones; 6,000 pencil-pushers and whiny nurses will be fired from the health service alone, most likely reducing average life expectancy for serfs; inflation for basic essentials such as food is rising, which may hurt those without fat expense accounts; moaning students will see fees go up dramatically, thus making education increasingly unaffordable for the grumbling masses.”

“All of this is perfectly in line with IMF/EU guidelines and yet for some reason you sheeple of Ireland seem to be enraged by it,” said Cowen, with a vexed air of perplexity.

“Why? You never cared when Charlie or Bertie fleeced you! Is it somethin’ about me you don’t like?” roared the Taoiseach, becoming ever more enraged.

Lenihan takes over the press conference as a furious Cowen is led away.

Lenihan takes over the press conference as a furious Cowen is led away.

“Well, FUCK YOU Ireland!” said Cowen, lunging threateningly at the audience before being restrained by FF minders who were on hand in case he said what he actually thought.

Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan then took charge of the press conference.

“I think what the Taoiseach means is that we agree completely with the Irish people,” said Mr. Lenihan, donning the knowledgeable air of competence that is so invaluable to those who don’t know what they’re doing. “It is completely unfair that these bondholders should be recompensed when they took free risks with their own money.”

“That’s why we have decided to extend the same guarantees to the people of Ireland.”

“As of now, every bet made with your own money of your own free will with any bookie in Ireland will be guaranteed by the Irish government.”

Irish people charge down to Paddy Power upon hearing the news.

Irish people charge down to Paddy Power upon hearing the news.

“This policy will guarantee confidence in the basic soundness of our economic decision making, create stability in international financial markets, reassure our EU partners, and make Ireland once again an attractive place for foreign investment.”

“Win or lose, it’s a win-win situation, boys,” said Lenihan with a reassuring wink.

After a few seconds of stunned silence the entire nation surged to its feet and charged down to the nearest Paddy Power to punt the house onto every available piece of action going.

Local man Marty Burgess (51) said that he’d never seen such excitement. “Sure, I was just looking over some upcoming Premiership fixtures to see if there was a decent accumulator out there,” said Mr. Burgess in shock. “When suddenly the doors burst open and a flood of people came screaming in, throwing money around and wanting to bet on Women’s European Basketball League Division 3 matches and the Leitrim Under-12 hurling championships and God knows what else.”

Debts to Paddy Power are no threat to the country's sovereignty, said Lenihan.

Debts to Paddy Power are no threat to the country's sovereignty, said Lenihan.

“I even saw Sean Fitzpatrick there clutching a fistful of fifties, bellowing something about the Gozo Division 2 soccer league,” he said, shaking his head.

Paddy Power estimated that it received bets last night totalling €70 billion, all of which is now owed to it by the State. Rumour has it that Paddy Power has sent some men round from the IMF to make sure there won’t be any attempt to weasel out of the debt.

Said Lenihan shaking his head, “Lads, we didn’t want ye to just go out and abuse the system like that,” he said, shaking his head. “What possessed ye to go so crazy?”

“What will the banks and financial markets think of such reckless behaviour?”

Cowen and Lenihan’s Radical Postmodernism Confuses Markets

Dublin – Shares in Irish financial markets plummeted again yesterday as it became obvious that both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance are radical postmodernists who deny that there is any inherent meaning behind words and numbers.

Lenihan and Cowen's revelation of their radical postmodernism terrified markets, nation.

Lenihan and Cowen's revelation of their radical postmodernism terrified markets, nation.

The two Brians, Cowen and Lenihan, gave a joint press conference which threw the nation and global financial markets into a state of confusion, as they continued their radical postmodern assault on the structures of transnational capitalism and the nation-state.

Journalists were utterly bewildered by the pair’s classic postmodernist strategy of abandoning logic and reason as ‘oppressive Eurocentric discourses.’ Vincent Browne asked Cowen if he accepted he was to blame for “screwing up the country,” only to be puzzled by Cowen’s reply.

I don’t accept that at all. I don’t accept your contention or the premise to your question that I’m the bogeyman you’re looking for,” said Cowen with an air of lofty superiority.

Confused, Browne pointed out that a premise lies behind an assumption and that he was, in fact, simply stating directly that Cowen was “a liability” to the nation.

Poststructuralist philosopher Jacques Derrida said he thought Cowen and Lenihan were irresponsible arseholes.

Poststructuralist philosopher Jacques Derrida said he thought Cowen and Lenihan were irresponsible arseholes.

“Ah, but don’t you see that you’re concluding in the implication something you assumed in the premise?” asked Cowen, suddenly pulling on a French beret and smoking a cigarette from a long filter. “It’s not your fault,” he added condescendingly, patting Browne’s hand consolingly before letting it linger for just a moment. “The flaw lies within the Aristotelian system of logic you are attempting to use.”

Browne wasn’t the only one to be caught out by the duo’s shock revelation of their radical postmodernism. Earlier in the day, Richard Crowley had the following exchange on This Week with Brian Lenihan:

Richard Crowley: Our strategy failed. Could you not admit that now?

Brian Lenihan: Yes it did in the sense that the banks were too big a problem for the country. I accept that.

Richard Crowley: And the steps you took were not enough to prevent it.

Brian Lenihan: The steps could not, given the limited resources a small state has. Yes, I accept all that. But nobody has suggested they were the wrong steps.

 Here, Crowley paused for a moment in utter confusion. “But, surely,” he said, frowning, “if they were the right steps they wouldn’t have failed? Surely a good strategy takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of those who have to carry it out?”

Lenihan chuckled, and suddenly adopted the pose of a famed French philosopher who knows that everything is relative. “But I was surrounded by figures, Richard,” he said, clenching a pipe between his teeth. “And we all know that figures are abstract human constructs. Who is to say that 2+2=4, or that €70 billion represents anything real? They are just shared illusions that I choose to question.”

Radical postmodernist Jean Baudrillard thinks the Irish should simply be kicked out of the EU.

Radical postmodernist Jean Baudrillard thinks the Irish should simply be kicked out of the EU.

“How much money are we borrowing from the EU?” asked Crowley bluntly.

It won’t be a three-figure sum,” replied Lenihan smugly.

“Well, of course not, if the country only needed a few hundred quid then I could loan it myself,” snapped Crowley in frustration. “It’s a lot more like 11 figures, isn’t it? It’s about €90,000,000,000, isn’t it?”

“Numbers are all meaningless abstractions,” said Lenihan, wrapping a fashionable scarf around his shoulders and drifting out of the studio to a waiting posse of French philosophy groupies.

Vincent Browne made one last desperate attempt to pierce the veil of fashionable poststructuralist thought that shielded the two Brians. “Do you accept any responsibility for what has been done to this country?” he asked Cowen.

Cowen smiled with the resignation of a superior being pestered by human mosquitoes. “The idea of ‘responsibility’ is just a social construct created by language and an enslaved Western mind. And who is ‘I’ in this sentence? Surely you are not still asserting that ‘I’ is ‘me,’ the rational Enlightenment subject?”

“So you don’t accept any of the blame for the nation’s bankruptcy?” asked Browne, clenching his fists.

“Very well, if you insist,” said Cowen resignedly, with the air of Gulliver trying not to step on the pygmies. “‘I’ have always taken full ‘responsibility’ for ‘my’ actions.”

True to Form, FF Denies Receiving Giant EU Brown Envelope

Dublin – Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, as President Sarkozy might put it with typically energetic Gallic fatalism.

As IMF and EU bailout experts march around the capital assessing the nation’s finances, Fianna Fáil has denied any knowledge of a giant EU brown envelope stuffed with billions of euros, despite numerous eyewitnesses and damning independently corroborated evidence.

Senior political analyst Robert Capeless said the Taoiseach’s reaction was straight out of the FF playbook.

Bertie Ahern demonstrates the dark arts of Fianna Fáil while Lenihan and Cowen watch attentively.

Bertie Ahern demonstrates the dark arts of Fianna Fáil while Lenihan and Cowen watch attentively.

“Those of us who have long been studying the methods of Fianna Fáil know this is a classic first step. First they always deny the existence of the envelope,” said Mr. Capeless, with the muted rage and beaten expression that comes of spending a lifetime watching FF commit one outrageous act of corruption after another without being held to account.

“You can see the same pattern of behaviour going back through Liam Lawlor and Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke and Charlie Haughey. ‘What envelope? There’s no envelope here. I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ and so on.”

Taoiseach Brian Cowen appeared on the Six-One News on Nov. 17 to deny strenuously that the giant brown envelope existed. “Such pejorative terms do not help the situation,” said Mr. Cowen. “Fianna Fáil is a party of the highest moral and fiscal integrity and would never stoop to some untoward backroom deal involving a 3 ton envelope stuffed with used fivers.”

“We’d never be able to find a backroom big enough.”

The Taoiseach’s statements come even as reports are flooding in from citizens that IMF workers have been seen unloading a giant envelope from an oil tanker, which was then slowly taken across the city to the RDS, which Fianna Fáil has reserved for a ‘special party crisis meeting.’

Two cranes were needed to unload the big brown EU envelope, even as FF denied its existence.

Two cranes were needed to unload the big brown EU envelope, even as FF denied its existence.

As the humongous brown envelope was steered slowly across the nation’s capital in full view of the public, leading Fianna Fáil ministers tripped over themselves to deny its existence, just as Mr. Capeless predicted.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan was quick out of the blocks, saying “The state is well funded into June of next year, we have substantial reserves, so this country is not in a situation or position where it is required in any way to apply for the [big brown EU envelope stuffed with money] facility… Why apply in those circumstances? It doesn’t seem to me to make any sense. It would send a signal to the markets that we are not in a position to manage our affairs ourselves.”

Mr. Capeless shook his head with the bitter resignation of one long living under the shadow of Fianna Fáil. “The fact that the markets, along with the rest of the world, had already reached that conclusion anyway seems to make little difference,” he said, absent-mindedly snapping his pencil in two in suppressed frustration.

“Sometimes Fianna Fáil’s denial of reality is quite pathological.”

Mr. Capeless then explained the second traditional Fianna Fáil step. “The second phase is to say, ‘Oh, that envelope? Sure that doesn’t mean anything,’ just like when Ray Burke admitted those property developers had left €30,000 on his desk, but this was an everyday occurrence of no great significance.”

Cowen denied that the €100 billion was somehow connected with corrupt FF policies.

Cowen denied that the €100 billion was somehow connected with corrupt FF policies.

“Or when Bertie Ahern said those four cash lodgements totalling  €85,000 were just goodwill loans from friendly property developers. Sure, those property developers are just really nice, generous men – Bertie’s influence over planning permission is in no way connected to the large sums of money he got from them men seeking planning permission.”

True to form, Cowen & co. have now started admitting that a big brown envelope full of cash has been ‘made available,’ to Ireland, but that this envelope has no great significance for the Irish people.

“There is no question of loss of sovereignty for Ireland,” said the Taoiseach on Nov. 18, continuing FF’s pathological denial of what is perfectly obvious to everyone else. “It will be the sovereign decision of the Irish Government on behalf of the Irish people that will decide what shape any package would be where we can decide that’s in our best interests.”

“Those IMF lads are just here to take advantage of the great Christmas shopping in Dublin.”

Mr. Capeless shrugged resignedly and then absent-mindedly smashed his cup off the wall, looking mildly astonished at his own outburst. “Well, that’s phase two. Phase three is where we set up a tribunal to investigate the whole stinking corrupt mess we’re in, which takes ten years, costs €100 million, and doesn’t lead to a single arrest.”

“Fianna Fáil just keep doing it to us, and we just keep taking it like the bitches we are,” he added hopelessly, putting his boot through his computer monitor.

Confidence Building Sector Facing Collapse

Dublin – It seems that every day Finance Minister Brian Lenihan wakes up to hear another piece of bad news about the Irish economy.

Today, as the economic crisis deepens and the need for an EU bailout looms ever nearer, another area of the Irish economy has come clean about the difficulties it faces: the confidence-building sector has admitted that it is grossly overvalued and is on the verge of collapse.

Confidence-building boomed after the recession.

Confidence-building boomed after the recession.

The confidence-building sector had been one of the few growth areas of the Irish economy since the crisis hit in 2008. In the face of bank losses totalling €70 billion and an ever-growing deficit between government income and expenditure, confidence building sought to plug the gap and became a major force in Irish economic parlance.

“We talked a lot about confidence back in those days,” said confidence developer Kevin Fahy, looking ruefully back at some old articles about the establishment of NAMA, which was supposed to ‘rebuild international confidence’ in the Irish economy. “It seemed like ‘confidence-building’ was the next big thing, you know? So everyone started saying it about everything we did.”

“It was like the gift that kept on giving.”

On January 19 2009, Prof. Patrick Honohan (currently governor of the Central Bank) said, “We need to have a process of confidence-building in the coherence and feasibility of the overall economic policy strategy for recovery.”

Honohan: "We need to build confidence in our incoherent and unfeasible economic strategy."

Honohan: "We need to build confidence in our incoherent and unfeasible economic strategy."

Fahy couldn’t hide his admiration. “It’s brilliant, isn’t it?” he said with a still undimmed feverish glow in his eyes. “I mean, he’s not saying we need a coherent and feasible overall economic policy strategy for recovery, because realistically we haven’t got one and couldn’t execute it if we did. But if we can give people the confidence that we have one, then things might be all right.”

“Confidence-building was where the action was at, baby!”

As the crisis deepened, confidence-building began exploding at an astonishing rate. On 14 May 2010, Brian Cowen gave a triumphant speech about Fianna Fáil’s handling of the economy at DCU, where he proudly said, “The Irish guarantee initiative was intended to give confidence to depositors and wholesale lenders so that they would continue to transact their business with Irish initiatives.”

"Markets and foreign investors are like shy teenage girls," said Fahy with the air of an accomplished paedophile.

"Markets and foreign investors are like shy teenage girls," said Fahy with the air of an accomplished paedophile.

Fahy shrugged when confronted with this bullshit, much of which he had peddled himself. “You have to understand that market analysts and foreign investment groups are just like shy teenage girls – you have to give them the confidence that everything will be all right if you want to get their knickers off, and no one does that better than Biffo.”

Such was the growth in the Irish confidence-building market that soon international investors were jumping in with both feet.

On July 14 2010, Ashoka Mody, IMF mission chief for Ireland said in an interview: “Because the consolidation had to occur during a recession, it has inevitably dampened short-term growth prospects. But that needs to be traded off with the longer term confidence-building that is very much a goal of this consolidation process. To the extent that the Irish authorities can now legitimately claim broader policy credibility, some of that confidence-building is already occurring, offsetting, in part, the short-term contractionary effects on the economy.”

But it was already apparent to those on the inside that the confidence-building sector was in the midst of a gigantic bubble. “I mean, Mody’s basically saying here that the only thing keeping the Irish economy afloat is the confidence building sector,” said Fahy, “and that just gives the game away. Then everyone was putting all their eggs in the confidence-building basket, and that had to create a bubble.”

The confidence-building sector totally collapsed in November 2010.

The confidence-building sector totally collapsed in November 2010.

The bubble burst rapidly in the autumn of 2010, however, when economist Morgan Kelly of UCD pointed out that you don’t just ‘have’ confidence, you have to have confidence in something, and that the Irish economy certainly wasn’t the in-thing to be putting one’s confidence in, as it had been holed below the waterline by the banking crisis.

“Yeah, well, he’s probably right, but he’s still a cunt for saying it,” said Fahy defensively.

Despite a last-ditch effort by Irish and foreign investors in confidence building to stave off collapse, it became obvious to all that the markets weren’t buying it any more. Soon, statements of confidence in the Irish economy, which had been worth a fortune during the confidence-building sector’s heyday, were virtually worthless.

Although the collapse left him bankrupt, Fahy remains upbeat. “Yeah, but I got a job with NAMA,” he said matter-of-factly. “They’re paying me €975 an hour for consultation, so everything should be all right for me soon.”

“Then I can get out of this economic shithole and move to the US.”



Merkel Privately Beginning to Wish Germany Had Won World War II

Berlin – As she surveys the wreckage of the Eurozone, with Ireland collapsing in a heap of incompetence and corruption, Greece already on life support, and Portugal and Spain following close behind, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is privately beginning to wish Germany had won World War II.

According to aides close to the Chancellor, Merkel has increasingly been given in private to lament the folly that left Europe’s smaller, more irresponsible countries with their independence.

Now a video has appeared on the internet showing Merkel airing her private grievances after another EU meeting to discuss the Irish bailout.

“If only that Arschloch Hitler had let the generals cut the English off from Dunkirk, or he hadn’t attacked the Soviets, things might all have been much different today,” she sighed, pushing aside another stack of documents from the Irish government asking for a few hundred billion.

Merkel is privately beginning to wish Germany had won World War II.

Merkel is privately beginning to wish Germany had won World War II.

“Don’t get me wrong,” she added quickly. “Nobody wants to be ruled by the Nazis. Their five-year economic plans were almost as reckless as Anglo Irish Bank’s, except they had the might of the Wehrmacht and Anglo only had Sean Fitzpatrick’s book fiddling. But they both ended up destroying their countries just the same.

“Still,” she said wistfully, her face drawn and haggard from a long day of listening to Brian Lenihan try and rationalise Ireland’s reckless gambling, “Europe would be in a lot better shape if it were ruled by the Germans.”

Pouring herself a clear glass of schnapps, Chancellor Merkel sat down in a comfortable armchair and said, “Hitler should at least have invaded Ireland, or persuaded the British to conquer it again. That was the real mistake of the war – letting that little Scheißkaff survive as a country.”

“The things I would do to that place if I were Chancellor,” she said, staring intently into her glass of schnapps before downing it in one gulp.

German efficiency would make nonsense of Dublin's lack of parking spaces.

German efficiency would make nonsense of Dublin's lack of parking spaces.

According to sources close to the Chancellor, Merkel has said this numerous times in recent weeks as she watches Ireland accelerate towards the cliff. In her darker moments, she has ominously threatened to bring clear, transparent, sensible government to a nation that would probably die of shock if it actually experienced such treatment.

“I mean, really, Ireland was doing pretty well. It had some sound strategic advantages: it was a European country that spoke English, had a highly educated workforce, low corporate tax rates, and an image as an attractive culture. The ideal site for major American corporations to set up headquarters – how could anyone really screw that up?”

“But, nein, the Irish have to go nuts and start charging €400,000 for a small studio apartment off Nassau Street. Or treating financial regulation like it was law about cleaning up your pet’s dogshit, or writing the strategy for urban planning development on the back of a few brown paper envelopes.”

“And why zum Teufel would the Irish Taoiseach get paid more than I or the US President?” she screeched. “Did none of those pixieheads think that was a little bit much?”

“Ach,” she snorted in disgust as she downed another schnapps. “Don’t talk to me about that Scheißkopf Biffo.”

Downing her fourth schnapps, Merkel suddenly poured the rest of the bottle over the Irish bailout request and set fire to it.

Scheißkopf

Scheißkopf

“Why did you agree to the bank bailout in the first place?”” screamed Merkel, fuming, as the flames leaped higher before her eyes. “Even then, you could have terminated the bank guarantee by arguing that the banks had withheld material information about their solvency, in clear violation of the law!” Merkel then went into an insane frenzy, frothing at the mouth in a way that was eerily reminiscent of a previous German leader while her petrified aides watched motionlessly.

“The worst of it is that any minute now we’re going to have the Portuguese and the Spanish bashing down the door looking for more of the same. And the Italians will get in on the act, too – you know how these southern Europeans are when they scent money.”

Glancing at the hotline telephone to the army chief of staff, Merkel wiped her mouth and with an effort of will turned away to the window. “No, Angie, don’t,” she muttered to herself, clutching the empty schnapps bottle.

“Surely not even the Irish can carry on being this stupid, can they?”

She glanced over at the map of a free independent Europe with Ireland hanging over it like a vampire bat, and scowled.

Fine Gael Announce Solution to Financial Crisis: “Ministerial Jobs.”

Fine Gael today finally published a detailed proposal outlining the party’s preferred solution to the economic crisis – ministerial jobs.

At a press launch for the new policy document, party leader Enda Kenny declared, “There has been a great deal of discussion about the right path for Fine Gael to take in order to go round this economic cycle until we turn the corner. But this document charts the road to economic salvation straight through the circumference of the storm.”

Enda Kenny explains his bold vision for how Fine Gael can survive the financial crisis.

Enda Kenny explains his bold vision for how Fine Gael can survive the financial crisis.

“And make no mistake: these are terrible times for the people of Fine Gael, what with the threat of homes being possessed and young people being forced to emigrate as immigrants.”

“But we do have an answer!” stated Mr. Kenny with slow and deliberate emphasis on each word, as the spindoctors of Fine Gael had coached him beforehand. “We can weather this great earthquake by securing, for each and every member, a ministerial job.”

The policy document outlines the party’s plan to win the next election and thereby secure a large number of cabinet posts. Combined with junior ministerial posts and a comprehensive rotation system, the policy document foresees everyone getting a post within the government over the lifetime of the next Dáil.

The increases in salary, plus the ample ministerial pension, should allow everyone to secure their finances until the country is on its feet again.

Mr. Kenny said that somewhere, over the rainbow, was a shitheap we had to avoid.

Mr. Kenny said that somewhere, over the rainbow, was a shitheap we had to avoid.

“Even the cruellest winter is followed by the dawn,” said Mr. Kenny, attempting to imitate the soaring rhetoric of President Obama, whom he greatly hopes to hand shamrocks to on a future St. Patrick’s Day. “Though the ship is foundering, the sails still fly, and if we hang tough to the mast we might not go down with the stern.”

“As Galileo proved, what goes down must come up.”

Asked to discuss some of the precise details of the plan, and specifically how exactly this rotation system would work, Mr. Kenny became flustered and began employing his customary idiosyncratic diction at an ever more confusing rate.

“Ah, well, I think the plan is perfectly opaque on this point,” he said, leafing through its pages with the sinking expression of a child asked a hard question by a strict maths teacher. “But, you know, I’m not an abacus; I can’t keep all these calculations in my head like some kind of washing machine.”

Enda Kenny attempts to add up the number of ministerial posts available using his body as an abacus.

Enda Kenny attempts to add up the number of ministerial posts available using his body as an abacus.

“But I can give the people something firm they can grab onto tightly, something hard and powerful that I want everyone to keep deep inside them, something you can suck on like a baby’s pacifier whenever the going gets rough: my…” he paused and frowned in puzzlement at his spindoctors, who were frantically trying to communicate something to him.

“My commitment,” he ended hesitantly, unsure what was going on behind the scenes. “My promise to do what is right for the people of Fine Gael in order to see us all through this crisis.”

Asked if perhaps Richard Bruton were nearby to explain what was quite obviously his plan, Mr. Kenny said, “No, now two limes can’t share the same light, if you get my snowdrift and don’t take it with a pinch of salt, otherwise it may melt.”

Likely future coalition partner Eamon Gilmore, leader of the Labour Party, said that he approved of the plan in general, but felt that in order for it to work government would have to raise taxes and redistribute wealth to those who need it most.

“There’s no way we can all have ministerial jobs,” said Gilmore. “And no man will be left behind by Labour. We’ll have to raise taxes on these corporate fatcats who’ve gotten us into this mess, then use that money to create new ministries.”

“With a slew of new ministries, and their accompanying ministerial posts, I’m sure we can see off this recession.”

"I've got my plan to escape the recession - what's yours?"

"I've got my plan to escape the recession - what's yours?"

When asked about what Fine Gael had to offer those who weren’t in Fine Gael, Enda Kenny looked blank. “What does that have to do with me?” he asked, turning the question into a joke to try and defuse the tension.

“Look, you obviously have some strange idea of politics boiling away in your head like an empty kettle,” said Kenny, to the confusion of all. “And we all know that empty kettles make the most noise but are the first thing to desert a sinking ship instead of staying to bail it out, and with the EU bailout coming we need more than your crazy idea of politics to get us out of this mess.”

“The purpose of politics is to seize power. We know this in Fine Gael, and that’s how we’re getting out of this hole. How you get out of this hole is your own business.”

And with that Mr. Kenny smiled and waved for the gobsmacked photographers and left the room.

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