In this morning’s Irish Times, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, offered everyone the wisdom of his thoughts on the payment of a â‚¬700m unsecured unguaranteed Anglo-Irish Bank bond. The whole piece is worth a read.
He states that:
Part of the existing agreement with our external partners is not to allow any Irish bank, including Anglo Irish Bank, default on its debts to bondholders for fear of paralysing wider European financial markets. I share the Irish publicâ€™s dismay at the cost and unfairness of this policy and the delay it caused to the Stateâ€™s recovery.
Stephen Donnelly, the independent Wicklow TD, provides three direct refutations to this over at theJournal.ie,Â linkingÂ to several sets of comments by theÂ Finance Minister, Michael Noonan,Â that directly contradict his party leader. On one hand, Donnelly points out thatÂ Noonan stated that thereÂ has never been a threat over repudiating unsecured and unguaranteed debt (as transcribed byÂ Name Wine Lake here). In answer to the question:
…is there a threat, Mr Noonan, from the ECB if you were to go ahead and burn these bondholders that they [the ECB] would remove that money?
No, no thereâ€™s no threat and they never threaten…
The position has now become indefensible that the Irish taxpayer, even the poorest taxpayers, should be required to underpin the speculation of hedge fund investors.
Efforts by Sinn FĂ©in, independent andÂ ULAÂ TDs toÂ hold a DĂˇilÂ debate on the bond payment were voted down prompting a walk-out from the chamber.Â This evening, Paris and Berlin, or least their [current]Â resident premiers, appear toÂ have given Greece an ultra viresÂ ultimatum over it’s eurozone membership, largelyÂ for threatening to go to the people with a referendum.
The mechanism by which Sarkozy and Merkel imagine they can eject Greece isn’t actually clear. What is pretty evident, though, is that, as far as they are concerned, the democratic will of the Greek electorate certainly isn’t ofÂ any interest to them.
Having reached that point, the game would nowÂ seem to beÂ up for the eurozone project.
Topic: Economy, Politics
Region: EU, Ireland
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