After a collapse in passenger numbers during lockdown, airports are expecting 40 per cent fewer travellers this year.

A bailout beckons: How Covid-19 has smashed Ireland’s army of transport semi-states

Covid-19 has smashed transport companies, and social distancing will make many of them non-viable. Governments have rushed to the aid of a small number of favoured companies. Could the end result be a re-nationalisation of the transport industry?

30th Jun, 2020 - 9 min read

In the heyday of neoliberalism, before Lehman Brothers, privatisation was a big thing.

At the time, it was the settled opinion that services are provided more efficiently by private companies. Parties of the left and the right signed up the neoliberal agenda, from Dublin to Sweden to South Korea. 

There were some big successes. It’s strange to think now but in 1985 the Irish state owned and managed hotels, creameries, sugar processors, ports, shippers, three banks, oil refineries, steel mills, fertiliser manufacturers, telecom companies and a life insurer (though what goes around comes around, and the neoliberal agenda arguably,...

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