Wednesday, September 19, 2007

German "Diplomacy" on Display

Would an Irish ambassador to Germany start telling Hitler jokes?

"Ireland is a coarse place with a sad history where the natives are obsessed by money. That, at least, is the view of the German Ambassador to Dublin. Christian Pauls earned a rare official rebuke from the Irish Government after he aired his unflattering opinions before a group of 80 German industrialists, many of whom were potential investors in the Celtic Tiger economy.

Mr Pauls poured scorn on Ireland's recent affluence and its Government, telling his audience at Clontarf Castle in Dublin that "junior ministers earn more than the German Chancellor" and that "20 per cent of the population are public servants" - neither of which is true.

Mr Pauls ploughed on regardless, describing Irish history as "even sadder than Poland"


Nobody is beyond criticism and some of the things the ambassador said about Ireland have an element of truth but in view of Germany's own sensitivity about mentions of its past, this official German onslaught on Ireland can only be viewed as gross hypocrisy -- or double standards at least. The Irish in me says that the ambassador should be recalled.

The probable background to the incident is that high-tax Germany resents the striking economic success of low-tax Ireland.