Irish Minister of Finance in Trouble Over "Feta Remark"
Michael Noonan, Ireland's Minister for Finance, got on trouble last week for saying that feta cheese was the only Greek product the people of Ireland ever put in their shopping baskets. Greece maintains that there is more trade between the two countries, but Noonan's standing by his statement:
Yesterday, Mr Noonan said international listeners to the online broadcast of the conference might not have understood the Irish position and tended to put International Monetary Fund programme states such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal “in the one box”.
In answer to a question on whether contagion would spread from Greece to Ireland, he sought to stress there was little economic, trade or banking connections between the two states. “I could have done that by running a bunch of statistics, but I thought it was better communication to refer to the [grocery] basket,” he told RTÉ Radio One’s This Week programme.