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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Euro (David Begg)

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David Begg

Euro

The flagship project of European integration was Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). While first advanced via the Werner Report in 1969, the project languished until after the Single European Act was passed in 1987. It was taken off the shelf, dusted down and represented in a different format by Commission President, Jacques Delors, in 1989. What really breathed life into it though was the prospect of German reunification consequent upon the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990. Apprehensive at the prospect of a reunited Germany, and all that implied in a historical context, France promoted the idea of creating a ‘European Germany’, as distinct from the feared ‘German Europe’.

The instrument by which EMU was ushered in was the Maastricht Treaty, which was signed on February 7, 1992 and came into force on November 1, 1993. The currencies of the member states of the Eurozone, including Ireland, were locked on January 1, 1999 and the euro came into being as the single currency in 2002. The period between the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and realisation of the single currency was a turbulent one. Major speculation in financial markets forced the British pound and the Italian Lira out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), and the Irish Punt was devalued by 10% in 1993. This devaluation gave a major impetus to the emergence of the Celtic Tiger.

The European Central Bank (ECB) was set up in 1998. It...

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