Thursday 18 January 2018

Irish people called German Embassy to ‘express sympathy’ after Anglo Tapes

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THE German Embassy in Dublin received a “considerable” number of calls from Irish people “expressing sympathy” after the ‘Anglo Tapes’ were released.

Speaking on RTE’s ‘Today with PK’, German Ambassador Dr Eckhardt Lübkemeier said Germans did not see the views and attitudes expressed on the recordings as being in any way reflective on the Irish people.

“We got a considerable number of emails and calls expressing sympathy with us, with Germany and the German people.

“After these conversations were published, we reassured … that they were in no way indicative of the views of the Irish people.

“It will not affect German Irish friendship, and the bonds of affection that are in place between the Irish and the German people,” Dr Lübkemeier said.

Controversy surrounding the contents of the ‘Anglo Tapes’ – which were exclusively obtained by the Irish Independent – raged in Germany after it emerged that Anglo executives sang the German national anthem as deposits from Germany flowed into Anglo as a result of the bank guarantee in late 2008.

Dr Lübkemeier said the attitudes as expressed on the tapes is “indicative of the attitudes of bankers in other countries”.

“It shows what went wrong in the first place, the banking sector got ‘decoupled’ from the real economy.

“We are now left with the legacy,” he said

“We are still trying to cope with the problems… caused by this hubris in the banking sector.”

Dr Lübkemeier said Angela Merkel and her government were very “supportive” that Ireland would exit the bailout programme and return to the markets next year.

“We do hope that Ireland will succeed.. that it will get back on it’s feet and return the market next year.

“This will be an encouragement to other members of the Eurozone as well. Germany is very supportive of this.”

With elections happening in Germany soon, Dr Lübkemeier said that even if Chancellor Angela Merkel loses power, there wouldn’t be a shift in policy when it comes to European matters.

Germany’s role in Europe enjoys cross-party support in parliament, as well as support from “ordinary Germans”.

“We do realise, and recent figs demonstrate this quite clearrly, it is in our very best national interest to see the Eurozone recover and keep Eurozone together.

“German people are very supportive. Don’t expect a change in our position after the elections, it continues to have cross party support in the German parliament,” he said.

He also said the country doesn’t see austerity the answer to the economic crisis, rather the answer is “living within your means and laying a foundation for sustainable growth in the future”.

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