Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ireland should not get retrospective bank deal, warns German politician

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Ireland should not get a retrospective recapitalisation of its bank debt, one of Germany’s most influential politicians has said.

“The ESM is an instrument for the future” said Dr Joachim Pfeiffer, economic policy spokesman for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats party.

“Ireland has to solve this on its own like Greece, Portugal, Spain and Germany” he said. “I don’t see it as a moral obligation”.

Mr Pfeiffer said that the success of NAMA at selling off the assets under its control points to the country’s ability to clear its debts itself.

He added that the extension of EU loans and the promissory note deal have already helped Ireland to reduce its debt burden.

Mr Pfeiffer was speaking on a brief visit to Dublin, after meetings with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and senior NAMA officials as well as Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher.

His comments pour cold water on hopes for a deal on Ireland’s legacy bank debt, stemming from the government’s decision to pump billions into AIB and Bank of Ireland at the height of the crisis.

The Department of Finance has repeatedly stated that such a deal is not off the table.

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