One Cheer for Ireland

Aidan Crawley / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny speaks at a tech summit in Dublin on Oct. 30.

When the republic of ireland wakes up on Dec. 15, everything will look much the same as it did the day before. The sky will be blue or — more likely at the midpoint of one of the rainiest months of a rainy climate — gray. Yet this will be a country transformed, the first of five deeply indebted euro-zone nations officially to leave bailout programs that helped shore up their faltering economies and rescue Europe's single currency from immediate danger.

Broke and broken in November 2010, its banking system rotten with...

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