Monday 11 December 2017

IFSC's Bruton calls on EU leaders to deal with eurozone's major issues

Laura Noonan

International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) tsar John Bruton last night called on Europe's leaders to use this week's Brussels summit to tackle all the major issues facing the eurozone.

Heads of state are meeting in Brussels tomorrow to approve a new financial rescue system for the eurozone, but Mr Bruton warned they should not "contain themselves to solving part of the problem".

"I suggest that they sit down until they have mapped out a strategy to deal, in an integrated way, with the problem of sovereign debts, banking contagion and insufficient competition and growth," he said.

Mr Bruton stressed that "comprehensive decisions" on the shape of the EU were "urgently needed" so it could manage a single currency, but he dismissed calls to scrap the euro.

"There are some who would give up the effort, and some who would like the euro to fail," he said. "I believe they are wrong. The euro is the centrepiece of the EU.


"It is the guarantor of the single market. It harnesses economics to build a structure to peace and independence in Europe."

The former Taoiseach also called on Ireland to step up to the plate and contribute to the wider European debate instead of "obsessing" about our own problems.

The comments came as Mr Bruton addressed the annual dinner of Financial Services Ireland at Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel last night.

The IFSC boss also used his speech to launch a stinging criticism of experts' failure to see Ireland's collapse coming despite warnings from international bodies.

The ratings agencies, the banks themselves and the Irish authorities bore some responsibility, Mr Bruton said, but those who lent money to Ireland must also be examined.

Irish Independent

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