Later this year, Ireland will become the first eurozone country to exit its EU-IMF bailout. Some might take that as good news -- proof that austerity worked and that Ireland is well on its way to recovery. For the Irish people, though, it is hard to believe the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a train.
For once, Ireland is projecting confidence and implementing painful austerity measures to get its fiscal house in order, which is allowing it to borrow money despite its many economic problems. Other debt-ridden European countries, however, would be wrong to conclude that they can do the same.
Ireland's economic turnaround in the 1980s is generally credited to fiscal measures similar to the ones other European countries are now implementing. But those policies were painful and won't even work this time.