Friday, April 13, 2012

The airport drive is the whole country

What is about European Central Bankers and Tom Friedman-style presentations of the airport road as representative of not just the nation, but deeper truths? Here's the ECB's Jorg Asmussen in Dublin yesterday:

Coming to Ireland yesterday was a very short journey for me, leaving my office in Frankfurt at 3 pm and arriving in downtown Dublin at 6 pm. On the way from the airport my Counsellor, who is accompanying me today, remarked that Ireland, however, has apparently come a long way compared to the time when she visited Ireland for the first time as a backpacking student almost 20 years ago in the early 1990s. While she recalled that her first impression of travelling from the airport downtown was rather sad, with run down warehouses and poor residential buildings, the picture has completely changed: modern office buildings and residential areas line the streets on the short trip from the airport to downtown nowadays. This is anecdotal evidence, of course, but I think it depicts in a nutshell Ireland’s truly remarkable economic development over the last 20 years.

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