A 0.2 percent dip in GDP at the end of 2011, which followed a drastic decline in the third quarter, has thrown Ireland back into recession, alongside Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and Greece, and begs the question of whether austerity is the answer to Europe’s economic woes. –ARK

The Guardian:

The Irish finance minister, Michael Noonan, promised a swift recovery last year after record export figures appeared to show foreign trade would galvanise the economy, which had to be bailed out with €90bn by the European commission, IMF and European Central Bank in December 2010. However, the euro crisis and a slowdown in some key export markets dampened demand for Irish goods.

Dublin has focused on exports after it was forced to impose a dramatic squeeze on public spending by Brussels as the price of a multibillion-euro rescue package. The housing crisis that resulted from the largest property boom in the eurozone has also restricted domestic demand.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig