Lenihan last in FT poll

Brian Lenihan has been rated worst of 19 European finance ministers in the Financial Times' annual ranking of Europe's economic stewards.

A panel of leading economists and analysts polled by the FT placed him at the back of the pack - one position lower than last year- because of the disastrous performance of the Irish economy over the past 12 months.

However one panellist praised the minister's response to the banking crisis and his handling of the public finances.

Ralph Atkins, bureau chief for the Financial Times in Frankfurt, said the good news for Mr. Lenihan is the only way to go from here is up.

"That creates plenty of room for room for a comeback next year" he said. "Many people do move around quite a lot".

"Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, came top of this years poll - well, just two years ago she came bottom," he added.

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