Saturday 25 February 2017

Brussels makes its excuses and leaves us with no answers

Constantin Gurdgiev

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker

Benjamin Franklin once remarked that "he that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else".

Yesterday's release by the European Commission of its long report into Ireland's Economic Adjustment Programme for the period of 2010-2013 is an exemplary proof of his insight.

The report is full of platitudes on Ireland's exemplary execution of Troika prescriptions since November 2010: much of it is largely deserved. However, amid the praise as a way of background, the commission devotes some attention to the subject of the two banking guarantees of 2008 and 2009, both pre-dating the bailout. In this, the report finds that Ireland's original guarantee of September 2008 was based on false assessments of the crisis: confusing banks' insolvency for illiquidity.

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