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Ireland’s exchange traded fund has continued to struggle, but the country’s citizens are more evenly divided on the direction of their economy.

Standard & Poor’s recently downgraded Ireland’s debt, but in a poll, 53% said that S&P was being overly pessimistic about the economy, says Graham MacKay for International Business Times.

But S&P’s downgrade didn’t come without reason. Ireland suffered mightily after the financial meltdown that affected the globe hit their banks. Landon Thomas Jr. for The New York Times reports that Ireland also was the only country to take such a direct route in tackling the problem, by quickly recognizing the bad loans of its devastated banks and transferring them to the government’s books.

Now Ireland’s struggle to cope with its mounting bank losses could be a sign of things to come in Europe. Louis Fahy for Bloomberg reports that proof of the hard hit Ireland took in the wake of the financial meltdown can be seen in The Glashaus hotel, which used to be a symbol of the regeneration of one of Dublin’s toughest neighborhoods.

Creditors have taken control of much the area and hotels are abandoned. At least 200 hotels opened during Ireland’s decade-long economic boom, and some establishments cut their losses and shut, while others are lowering prices to stay in business and avoid repaying tax breaks if they were to close. iShares MSCI Ireland (NYSEArca: EIRL) faces an uphill battle and new challenges keep unfolding (click to enlarge).

Ireland ETF

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.