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Dublin: 20 °C Friday 23 August, 2019

How Noonan got it wrong: Eight things Ireland can thank Greece for

Michael Noonan said Irish people only appreciate feta cheese – but he forgot about Georgia Salpa, democracy and the Oedipus complex…

MICHAEL NOONAN WASN’T exactly feta-ed (sorry) for his comments about Greece yesterday.

The Finance Minister told a conference in Dublin that most Irish people don’t have a lot of connections with Greece and the country is very far from Ireland.  ”If you go into the shops here, apart from feta cheese, how many Greek items do you put in your basket?” he asked.

Oh, how wrong you were, Minister Noonan. Feta cheese aside, Ireland and the rest of the world has a lot to thank Greece for…

Democracy: The worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried, democracy may just be Greece’s biggest legacy to the world – which is kind of grimly ironic given that it had to rule out a technocratic government this week. But still: DEMOCRACY! YAY!

(Photo: PA Wire)

The Olympics: Faster, higher, stronger – or in Ireland’s case, not quite as fast, high, or strong as other countries, most of the time. But for something that first started in Greece almost 3000 years ago, we haven’t done too badly.

(Photo: EMPICS/EMPICS Sport)

Georgia Salpa: Probably the single most valuable Greek export to the Irish economy. Behind feta cheese, of course.

(Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)

The Oedipus Complex: Coined by Freud to describe the possibly insane psychoanalytic idea that men secretly love their mothers and want to destroy their fathers.  Poor ol’ Oedipus managed to do exactly that around 430 BC in Greece. Oops.

(Photo: Glen Williams/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Togas: Because everyone looks good with a sheet wrapped around them.

(Photo: John Giles/PA)

Ouzo: The licorice-flavoured shot that seems like a great idea on holidays but not quite as good in a cold Irish pub.

(Image: Dullhunk/Flickr/Creative Commons)

The Parthenon: A temple in Athens which has somehow managed to survive almost intact for almost 2,500 years. It’s no Newgrange, though.

(Photo: Konstantinos Dafalias/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Shirley Valentine: Ok, technically she was English, not Greek (and er, also fictional) but she made going to Greece for a holiday look a really, really good idea.

(Screengrab via barriegrould/YouTube)

Things we couldn’t fit in but are still great: Big fat weddings, plate smashing, olive oil, nude wresling, Elia Kazan, Aesop’s Fables, Jennifer Aniston, plaits that wrap around your head, the Illiad and the Odyssey, tzatziki, moussaka, yoghurt, Socrates, Aristotle, Plato and baklava. Anything we’ve forgotten?

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