Cowen faces into make-or-break year

Both Lisbon and the economy will pose tough questions that the Taoiseach has yet to prove he can answer

3rd January, 2009

When Taoiseach Brian Cowen inherited the mantle of political power from Bertie Ahern at the beginning of last summer, it was clear that he faced two tasks, the importance of which dwarfed all others. The first was to manage the consequences of the deteriorating economy; the second was to secure the passage of the Lisbon Treaty in the approaching referendum.

He has been successful in neither. Will 2009 be any different? Cowen failed outright in...

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