President Barack Obama is in Ireland today, kicking off a 6-day, 4-nation European tour which will lead up to a G-8 conference in Deauville, France. But first, Obama will visit his ancestral home of Moneygall, Ireland, population 296, from where his great, great, great maternal grandfather hailed from. In between pints of Guinness, Obama will meet some 16 distant relatives, including Henry Healy, an 8th cousin whom locals honor with the title of Henry the 8th. Obama will also be meeting with Ireland′s Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, and discuss the growing financial woes of Ireland and the Euro Zone. He will also meet with Northern Ireland President Mary Mcaleese. Just last week, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Irish island, the first British monarch to do so in 100 years.

obama ireland visit

The economic news from Ireland is not good at all. The country is so deep in debt that of the 30 Billion Euros in tax revenues, 24 Billion will be paid to just cover interest on their debt. Already propped up with one round of bailouts, Ireland will probably need more financial aid as it still suffers from an unemployment rate of 15%. Other news across Europe is leading to an ugly day for the markets. A new report from Greece shows that so far they have only paid one percent of the national health care bills. In Spain, the ruling Socialist Party was hit hard in local elections this weekend. Deep in debt and an unemployment rate of nearly 20%, Spain will next have a general election which looks to put the Popular Party in charge. Portugal is also seeking more financial assistance from the EU and IMF.

So President Barack Obama is in Ireland today and he better have his fun while he can. The rest of his 6-day, 4-nation trip to Europe may not be very good. The G-8 meeting in Deauville, France could bear little fruit as the European Union deals with the sovereign debt crisis. But at least today, Obama can relax at his ancestral home of Moneygall, Ireland and enjoy of few pints of Guinness with some of his 16 distant relatives, including Henry Healy, an 8th cousin. I′m certain that will go down much better than meetings with Enda Kenny or Mary Macleese. This is Ireland’s second major visitor after Queen Elizabeth II spent most of last week with the Irish.

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