Tuesday 28 February 2017

Euro vote could be debt game-changer

Without our sacrifice, the euro might have gone under, so Europe owes the Irish people, writes Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

The suffering endured by Irish people helped bring the EU back from the brink
The suffering endured by Irish people helped bring the EU back from the brink

To share the blame or to share the debt? That is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to add to four books on the banking crisis (at least), one official report (Nyberg) and a plethora of radio and TV debates and documentaries on the banking crisis as to who is guilty of the wreckage it caused, or, to ask a different question: Having spent years spreading the guilt, is it now time to spread the burden of debt created by that crisis? And which of these two questions is more important?

Last week Judge Martin Nolan dispensed some guilt on Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer, who were found guilty of illegal share purchase but spared a jail sentence because, according to the learned judge, they were led by the State into illegality. Indeed. A banking inquiry will now seek out the culprits for the banking crisis.

But guilt and liability are different things. Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer were found guilty but effectively not liable. We, the people are not guilty for the banking collapse. But we are liable.

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