Thursday 8 December 2016

Brendan Keenan: We might be at loggerheads but it's a shared headache

Published 15/03/2011 | 05:00

Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the ECB at a ministerial meeting on the European Stability Fund Mechanism (ESFM) in Brussels last night
Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the ECB at a ministerial meeting on the European Stability Fund Mechanism (ESFM) in Brussels last night

THERE will have been no bust-ups when Finance Minister Michael Noonan met EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn and European Central Bank president Jean Claude Trichet yesterday. These are three men in the same boat and the only argument is how best to keep it afloat.

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The banking crisis they were discussing may well be more serious than the renegotiation of the bailout terms, which led to the spat between Enda Kenny and Nicolas Sarkozy. It is certainly the more urgent.

It is also more difficult to explain than corporation tax or the interest rate on borrowings. One thing we do know is that the Irish banks have lost unbelievable amounts of money. We also now know that the amount is greater than the €40bn calculated officially so far.

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