July 11, 2012
Ireland has become the poster boy of international lenders, held up as a model of European austerity to problem child Greece.
But when the two countries sought financial help from the European Union and International Monetary Fund within six months of each other in 2010, they were starting from different points.
Ireland had an efficient public administration, a modern open economy and not much culture of protest in contrast to Greece, making it very difficult to catch up.
"I think our situation was always more manageable than the Greeks', there's no doubt about that," Ireland's energy minister Pat Rabbitte told Reuters.
"That is not to say the cliff off which we fell wasn't very steep but we always had the bureaucracy and the experience to make the adjustments if the political will was there."