Tuesday 22 August 2017

Former ECB chief Trichet to talk to the Bank Inquiry

Jean-Claude Trichet
Jean-Claude Trichet
John Downing

John Downing

Former head of the European Central Bank (ECB) Jean-Claude Trichet will next week give evidence to the Oireachtas inquiry into the banking system collapse.

But Mr Trichet will give his account of events in 2008 and its aftermath to the inquiry not at Leinster House, where hearings have been going on since before Christmas, but in the margins of a public meeting in Dublin on Thursday of next week.

Despite this departure from regular proceedings, the inquiry chairman, Ciaran Lynch, has insisted that the former ECB boss's evidence will be in order and legally admissible.

"The engagement provides an opportunity for the inquiry to gather evidence both for its final report and for engagement with witnesses," the Labour TD said.

Mr Trichet was in charge of the Frankfurt-based ECB when the Irish Government guaranteed bank deposits in September 2008 and when Ireland was forced to take an EU-ECB-IMF bailout in November 2010.

But for a long time he said it would be a breach of protocol to come to Leinster House and testify at the inquiry, and his engagement next week is a compromise.

Another committee member, Fine Gael TD Kieran O'Donnell, said members were disappointed Mr Trichet would not attend a regular hearing - but were satisfied that the compromise was agreed.

Irish Independent

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