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Ireland warned on altering terms of Anglo bailout

IRELAND would be shooting itself in the foot if it altered the terms of Anglo Irish Bank's bailout in a way that isn't "consistent" with our rescue programme, former ECB executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi warned yesterday.

The Anglo comments from Mr Bini Smaghi, who last year famously said Irish taxpayers "shouldn't complain" about picking up the tab for the banking crisis, came as he cautioned that Ireland could become "isolated" if it votes against the fiscal compact treaty.

The Italian was one of the most outspoken members of the ECB's powerful governing council until he quit for Harvard late last year. RTE's 'This Week' programme broadcast an interview with him yesterday.

The ECB is believed to be more resistant to the Government's efforts to restructure Anglo Irish Bank's €30bn bailout than either the European Commission or the International Monetary Fund, but has made only brief public commentary on the issue.

Asked about the issue yesterday, Mr Bini Smaghi said: "Europe has suffered enormously by not sticking to its own agreements."

Irish Independent