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Anglo Tapes: Bankers' comments have damaged democracy, says Merkel

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her "contempt" for the way that the bankers on the Anglo tapes were destroying the confidence of ordinary working people in the system.

It came after the Anglo tapes revealed a senior banker mockingly singing the words "Deutschland über alles" from the old German national anthem.

At the European Council summit in Brussels, Ms Merkel was asked about her reaction to the Anglo tapes. She said it was very difficult for people who get up in the morning and go to a regular job to accept the talk of bankers.

"It is a real damage to democracy...for everything we work for. The tone seems to be similar across all banks," she said.

Ms Merkel said it was a huge challenge to convince people who get up every day and every day do their work and always pay their taxes, do everything, even show solidarity with other people who are weaker.

"All of this is destroyed by that and so I have nothing but contempt at that."

But Ms Merkel praised the Government for its role in agreeing the €960bn EU Budget.

"The Irish Presidency has done an excellent job."

Despite reports that British Prime Minister David Cameron was unhappy with the final Budget deal, Ms Merkel confirmed that all EU leaders had signed up to it.

“What I can tell you is that we have been able to reach an agreement,” she said.

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- Michael Brennan, Brussels