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.

Irish Farmers’ Party Demands Independence from EU, Higher Subsidies

Nenagh, Tipperary – The newly formed Irish Farmers’ Party held its AGM in Nenagh yesterday, launching a populist programme that calls for Ireland to reclaim its independence from the EU and IMF, and higher subsidies.

Gerard Moynihan (55), chairman of the executive committee, said, “Ireland fought long and hard for independence and particularly those of us in the countryside who did most of the fighting, unlike those townies who just did all the jawing with the English afterwards.”

The 1st Armoured Tractor Division prepares to drive out the EU, once it saves family farms.

The 1st Armoured Tractor Division prepares to drive out the EU, once it saves family farms.

“That’s why it pains us greatly to see Ireland now relying completely on the mercy of foreign handouts. We propose that Ireland split with the EU, boot out the IMF, and reclaim the independent Ireland of Collins and de Valera!” he cried, to roars of approval.

“We would also like to campaign for higher EU subsidies for farmers to help us through the economic crisis,” he added briskly, to general nods of assent that this demand was taken as read and required no discussion.

Irish farmers have benefited greatly from cash payments under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a mechanism by which French farmers can threaten the French government with complete anarchy unless it screws money out of the rest of Europe.

The threat of militant French farmers yet again stampeding cattle through the EU parliament in Strasbourg has had tremendous knock-on benefits for the Irish farming community. In 2008, official figures showed that subsidies were responsible for 71% of farm profits in Ireland and that in the midlands subsidies accounted for 105.4% of profits, which is mathematically impossible.

“Many farmers in the midlands actually operate at a loss,” explained an anonymous Department of Agriculture official. “But we top them up so they break even.”

"Actually, EU milk policy is our income, but we're still going to stampede cattle through the parliament," said Mr. Moynihan.

"Actually, EU milk policy is our income, but we're still going to stampede cattle through the parliament," said Mr. Moynihan.

“Then we put a big fat cherry on top of that top up so they’re actually quite well off,” he added.

“That’s just plain business sense!” objected Mr. Moynihan brusquely when confronted with the figures. “If I’m going to run a dairy farm and produce milk and butter no one wants to buy, then the EU has to pay me to stop. Otherwise all those dairy products would just go to waste, and where’s the sense in that?”

“Now I can use the subsidies to buy more land to help me produce less milk and butter, thereby raising my profit margin as subsidies are measured per acre. And if the farmers of Ireland are increasing their profits, surely this is good news for the rest of the country?”

“Some of those spongers living off the dole could go out and get some of the jobs we’re creating through our hard work,” he added self-righteously.

The Irish Farmers’ Party criticised the Irish government for not paying attention to sound economic fundamentals during the boom, thus leaving the country hopelessly exposed to the global recession.

“All those bankers and property developers got totally carried away by the flood of cheap money,” declared Mr. Moynihan. “And all those lads in Dublin were off living way beyond their means. You have to pay attention to the basics and make sure you have more money coming in than going out.”

"If any of them show up looking for that €85 billion, Sheila will give them what for," said Moynihan proudly.

“Otherwise you’ll end up owing everything you own to the EU, and without them you’d be penniless. Sure, at that point, you may as well give up calling yourself a sovereign republic. The Irish Farmers’ Party is dedicated to restoring Ireland’s sovereignty through sound fiscal policies.”

When pressed to explain what these policies were, Mr. Moynihan said simply, “We just won’t pay the €85 billion back. Why should we? We’ve been getting subsidy cheques from them for years and we’ve never paid any of them back.”

“If they want their money back, just let them try and come and get it!” he shouted defiantly, brandishing a pitchfork with the psychotic glare of a French farmer charging down the Champs Elysées towards a squad of riot police.

Public Fury as IMF Cancels Free Cheese Scheme

Dublin – After the national humiliation of declaring ourselves indigent gamblers who had recklessly bet the farm and lost, this morning came an announcement that added insult to indignity, salt to the wound, cheese to the strict vegan Christmas dinner.

The government announced today that its much hailed “free cheese for the needy” programme would be cut as the IMF declared it “an unnecessary expense.”

Minister Brendan Smith's patriotic fire ignited the nation.

Minister Brendan Smith's patriotic fire ignited the nation.

An indignant Brendan Smith, the Minister for Agriculture who had so joyfully broken news of the scheme on Nov. 5, spoke to the press about his intention to resign.

“The free cheese scheme was the centrepiece of this government’s plans for the political, economic, and social transformation of our nation!” thundered Smith, displaying a fiery passion not seen since the heady days of 1916.

“It’s true that we made some mistakes, like giving a bank guarantee of €70 billion we couldn’t possibly afford and then submitting like cowed sheep to the IMF and EU and negotiating a humiliating treaty of surrender due to our own ineptitude.”

“But free cheese was our way back to independence!” cried Smith, invoking the ghost of Pádraig Pearse in a passionate display of cheese-related nationalism. “Not alone would it benefit people from the point of view of providing good food, but it also promotes the use and the value and the importance and the nutrition of cheese and dairy products. Free cheese would have made us all healthier, so the scything cuts we have to make in the healthcare system would have had no serious consequences. It would have made Ireland a global Mecca for cheese connoisseurs, with knock-on benefits for the wine and cracker industry.”

A young patriot in shamrock-green defiantly refuses to hand the cheese back.

A young patriot in shamrock-green defiantly refuses to hand the cheese back.

“I can no longer stand by and watch the unemployed crackers of Ireland sit idle for want of cheese! To the barricades, my people!” cried Smith, suddenly pulling a tricolour emblazoned with a Galtee cheese slice out of his underpants and rushing down to O’Connell Street to lead the masses in revolution.

By the time he got there, the number of demonstrators had already reached 50,000.

Local man Paddy Farrell (44), working hard to dig up Dublin’s crumbling pavements in order to prepare the barricades against the coming IMF charge, said the IMF and the EU had now crossed the line.

“Sure, I stood by and did nothing when FF were reaming us with corruption and driving the country into disaster,” said Farrell as he tried to remember how the barricades looked in the Les Miserables show he’d seen at the Point. “I stood idly by when the government gave the bank guarantee and set up NAMA. I even sat on my arse when the Budget was announced and it became obvious how much we’d have to pay out of our own pockets to clean up the mess of the elites.”

The Irish people man the barricades in defence of Kilmeaden.

The Irish people man the barricades in defence of Kilmeaden.

“But this is the last fucking straw!” he yelled, to cheers of approval from the surrounding crowds. “You can take our homes, you can even take our livelihoods, but you can never take – our cheese!” The crowd roared and lifted Farrell into the air before carrying him to the statue of Daniel O’Connell to have him stand next to the great man.

Fiona Hayes (31), a hairdresser from Cork who had been in Dublin for the day said the minute she heard the announcement she had come running to O’Connell street. “You could just feel it from the people around ya,” she said in the singsong accent that makes Dubliners wince. “They were all just pure boilin’ with rage. The free cheese scheme is the only good thing this government has ever done for us, the ordinary people of Ireland, and if they take that away, then what is our government for?”

“Without that cheese, we may as well submit to being a province of the EU.”

Further up the street, Brendan Smith stripped to the waist and began covering himself in Celtic war paint while bellowing nationalistic slogans at the seething mob.

Deep in the secret vaults of the Ministry of Finance, IMF mission chief Ajai Chopra rolled his eyes at the pictures on the TV screen and went back to the hard work of finding out where FF had stashed all the money.

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.

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.

EU Plots Irish Referendum to Boot Out Irish

Brussels – A summit meeting regarding Ireland’s growing economic crisis ended last night with an ingenious plan to resolve the EU’s difficulties. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, outlined the task facing the EU in a press conference after the meeting.

“We have watched with growing concern the deteriorating fiscal condition in Ireland,” she said. “And we have agreed that it is a cause of great concern for the European Union. Our fundamental problem is this: How do we wash our hands of it?”

"How can we wash our hands of the Irish?" asks Merkel while Sarkozy listens pensively.

"How can we wash our hands of the Irish?" asks Merkel while Sarkozy listens pensively.

Observers say that the problem is a serious one. An Irish collapse would raise doubts about the credibility of the euro, thus damaging the economies of genuinely important nations; on the other hand, bailing the Irish out would inevitably lead to similar requests for money from the Greeks, Portuguese, and Spanish.

“If the EU were a nation-state, people with money might be willing to pay the welfare of the less fortunate due to fellow-feeling, the desire to create a better social environment, and a commitment to the community,” said Merkel. “But those PIGS can kiss my fat German arse. There’s no way I’m handing our hard-earned money over to the lazy Greeks and those pixieheads in Ireland.”

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France agreed. “You cannot expect the French people to start working maybe 37 or even 40 hours a week simply to feed the Irish,” said Sarkozy with a Gallic shrug that somehow conveyed both vigour and resignation simultaneously. “So our problem is this: how do we kick them out of the EU without looking like that’s what we’re doing?”

Congratulations all round as EU leaders find ingenious way to kick out the Irish.

Congratulations all round as EU leaders find ingenious way to kick out the Irish.

“To this problem we feel we have come up with a brilliant solution,” he added with a self-satisfied smirk.

“We will ask the Irish to have a referendum endorsing their membership in the EU.”

A gasp of wonderment and appreciation escaped from the assembled journalists at the elegant simplicity of the manoeuvre. Under the plan, the EU will offer €20 billion annually to bail out Ireland but only if the Irish hold a referendum on whether or not to stay in the EU.

“Of course, it is in Ireland’s interest to vote ‘Oui,’ yes?” said President Sarkozy, “Which is exactly why they will vote ‘Non.’ The Irish have never truly understood what it means to be a democracy, that each citizen is involved in running the state. The Irish have no clue how to run a country.”

“If they did, why would they always vote for Fianna Fáil?”

Chancellor Merkel said that all that was needed was to convince the Irish government to support the referendum. “The Irish people hate the government they voted for,” she said with traces of bemusement and exasperation. “Even if you run the referendum the day after the election, people would vote against the government they had just voted in. Of course, the government will side with us because we will be offering €20 billion a year with no strings attached.”

“Then we will tell them there will be no spending oversight, so they will think they can steal it for themselves.”

Merkel and Sarkozy ponder an independent Ireland successfully managing its own affairs.

Merkel and Sarkozy ponder an independent Ireland successfully managing its own affairs.

“Once we get them out campaigning passionately for a ‘yes’ vote, the Irish will vote ‘no,’ and we can wave goodbye to them.”

The EU will sweeten the deal by convincing leading Irish economists that economic independence would be a boon for the country, in that Ireland could have its own currency which it could devalue in order to make foreign investment and Irish exports more attractive in the eyes of the markets. “This is true,” said President Sarkozy, “and another country could make this work. But where would Ireland find political leaders who wouldn’t manage to fuck it up? They will just go more quickly into the Dark Ages, with corrupt governments increasingly reaming the ignorant people for everything they have.”

“But by that point it won’t be our problem any more,” he added dismissively.

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