Of course, the story has been ignored by the doom-mongers of Politics.ie but in terms of budgetary arithmetic, Ireland registered an excellent performance in 2012. While the troika set a target of a budget deficit of 8.6% of GDP, the country easily beat it recording a shortfall of 7.6% - a full 100 basis points better than the target.
If there are any crumbs of "comfort" for the doom-mongers, it lies in the performances of other peripheral nations with Portugal, Spain and Greece sinking deeper into trouble. All three countries saw their budget deficits rise last year as revenue and their economies continued to shrink.
The Department of Finance is forecasting a deficit of 7.4% of GDP. This seems a little conservative. Surely we should be building on the successes of the last couple of years and aiming for something more radical like 5%?
Government deficit for 2012 comes in at 7.6% - RTÉ News