Irish News

Sunday 13 July 2014

Missed opportunity as Trichet manages to side-step ‘Irish question’

Louise Kelly

Published 14/01/2014|18:11

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Jean-Claude Trichet
Jean-Claude Trichet

Irish representatives failed to secure an adequate response from Jean Claude Trichet regarding his alleged statement that the Irish government ''made a mistake by extending guarantees to large banks''.

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The former President of the European Central Bank denied the statement when questioned by Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell at the EU Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, which is analysing the work of the Troika.

However, the response from Trichet was restricted by a time limit of less than one minute, allowing no further debate on the topic from the floor.

“As far as the ECB is concerned, the Irish situation was extremely dramatic, twice the share of GDP than the UK,” Trichet told the Committee.

"And the UK was considered more dependent."

Trichet indicated, therefore, that the ECB supported the position taken by the Irish government to back their banks and said that the decision taken by the Government was "justifiable given the situation it found itself".

He has previously refused to deny that he had threatened to withdraw emergency funding to Ireland.

Trichet held the position of president of the European Central Bank from 2003 to 2011.

Irish Independent

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