Daily Archives: March 14, 2012

Yesterday, the European Commission slapped down a request by Ireland to defer a €3.1bn payment related to its banking debt.

“I actually wonder why this has to be asked at all,” said the EU’s top economic official, Olli Rehn. “The principle in the European Union and the long European legal and historical tradition is, in Latin, pacta sunt servanda – respect your commitments and obligations.”

So what commitment is Ireland trying to avoid, and why? Jamie Smyth, the FT’s Dublin correspondent, answers our questions.  

Edward Luce

No matter how many “cheesy grits” Mitt Romney professed to love, or “y’all”s he threw out, the deep south gave him two custard pies on Tuesday night with third place finishes in Alabama and Mississippi. In neither state was he expected to win. But to come behind a nearly-moribund Newt Gingrich in both was nevertheless a humiliation. 

And so, once again, this tortured Republican race has reminded us what makes it so peculiar: almost everybody still bets on Mr Romney getting the nomination; but the point at which it is likely to pay off keeps getting pushed over the horizon. The slim chance that Mr Romney will in fact fail to win the crown also gets a little less slim with each passing setback.