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Banking inquiry: Taoiseach Enda Kenny says not enough that Trichet answer questions through MEPs in Brussels


Jean-Claude Trichet

Jean-Claude Trichet

Jean-Claude Trichet

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has said he was surprised at the level of willingness displayed by former European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet in trying to find a way to help the banking inquiry.

But he added that answering questions from Irish MEPs in Brussels was not enough.

''Clearly, the banking inquiry committee has particular responsibilities in the way they can ask questions and the nature of the questions that they would ask,'' Mr Kenny said. 

''While the ECB is responsible to the European Parliament, there's a willingness for Mr Trichet to find a way told being able to explain to Ireland the ECB's side of this story.''

Details of Mr Trichet's partial U-turn emerged in a letter sent to the chairman of the Banking Inquiry, Ciarán Lynch, by Mr Kenny.

It is unclear whether Mr Trichet will be able to attend the inquiry itself, with one government source describing it as a "long shot".

Mr Trichet contacted Mr Kenny after the Taoiseach approached Mario Draghi on the margins of the European Council in Brussels before Christmas.

It is understood Mr Draghi then asked Mr Trichet to make contact.

Mr Trichet said he was willing to answer questions about the banking collapse from Irish MEPs in the European Parliament.

An alternative proposal, Mr Trichet said, would involve him answering questions in Dublin, if he was invited by "an appropriate Irish institution or third party".

It has been speculated that this could include the Central Bank.

It is understood that Mr Lynch and the inquiry will now deal directly with Mr Trichet.

Attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this morning, Mr Kenny said he had also spoken to Mr Trichet at some length.

"What he [Mr Trichet] wants to do is to find a way of giving the information and the evidence to the people of Ireland," Mr Kenny said.

"He's pointed out that there are difficulties from an ECB point of view in doing that, but he's willing to find a method and a compromise that Ireland can hear from the ECB directly. Our people need to hear from the ECB.

"Both Mario Draghi and Jean-Claude Trichet understand that, and are willing to find a way that that can happen.



Online Editors