Friday 20 October 2017

Bruton to blame ECB for our crisis

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

FORMER Taoiseach John Bruton will tonight launch a stinging attack on the European Central Bank's failure to prevent Ireland's banking collapse.

Mr Bruton will also tell an audience at the prestigious London School of Economics that there needs to be a Europe-wide solution to the banking crisis.

And he will stress that plans to force Ireland's banks to sell off assets at bargain basement prices will only "aggravate an already difficult situation".

The comments come a month after Mr Bruton waded into a war of words between European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, who insisted Europe was "part of the solution" for Ireland, and Irish MEP Joe Higgins, who accused Brussels of "destroying Ireland".

Mr Bruton went on to write a letter to Mr Barroso, stressing that a good portion of the blame for Ireland's banking crisis lay with other European countries who loaned money recklessly to Irish institutions, enabling Ireland's banking bubble to expand.

Mr Bruton, who is charged with encouraging foreign banks to set up in the IFSC, will expand on the topic of Europe's culpability in the crisis.

In a strongly-worded speech, he will denounce the ECB's "strange failure" to use the powers it has to "rein in member central banks in countries where credit-fuelled bubbles were developing".

His argument is based on clauses in the Maastricht Treaty, which give the ECB responsibility to keep the activities of individual countries' central banks "under review" and to "deliver opinions" if problems were developing.

Irish Independent

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