A gray afternoon in Dublin may have marked the point whereIreland and Apple truly started to fall out of love, at leastpublicly.

Up until about 4.15 p.m. Tuesday, it was impossible to place acigarette paper between Ireland's hip young prime minister LeoVaradkar and Apple's Tim Cook, as they united to fight Europe'scontention that the government had granted the iPhone maker asweetheart tax deal.

That alliance began to fray this week, as Varadkar appeared toblame Apple for delays in the collection of about 13 billion euros($15.3 billion) in back taxes Ireland has been ordered to gatherfrom the company. The European Commission sued Ireland in Octoberfor failing to collect the money quickly enough.

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