Friday 20 April 2018

Mario Draghi willing to appear before Oireachtas Finance Committee to discuss ECB policies

ECB president Mario Draghi
ECB president Mario Draghi
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi is willing to appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to discuss the policies of the institution.

President Draghi has already appeared before the parliaments of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Finland and Netherlands.

The boss of the European Central Bank (ECB) told MEP Brian Hayes in the European Parliament he would be would be glad to accept an invitation to the Oireachtas, if he were to receive one.

Mr Hayes said: “President Draghi’s comments are very welcome and it sends a positive signal that he is willing to debate the ECB’s activities with the Oireachtas Finance Committee.”

The Dublin MEP said he has been working with chairman of the Committee John McGuinness in an effort to bring President Draghi before TDs and Senators to debate issues like quantitative easing and the state of the Eurozone economy.

“Given the ECB’s engagement with other national parliaments, there is now a good opportunity for the ECB to engage with the Oireachtas. Ireland has been a founding member of the Eurozone since the euro was first introduced in 1999 and it is in our interest to debate the future of the single currency.”

Informal contact has been made between the Oireachtas Finance Committee and the ECB with a view to Mr Draghi appearing before the Committee.

Discussing an appearance before the Oireachtas Committee, Mr Draghi said in the European Parliament yesterday: “As you know, the ECB is accountable to the European Parliament, but members of its executive board, myself included, have accepted invitations to discuss our monetary policy generally and broadly in national parliaments, so I would be glad to accept an invitation from the Irish Parliament if I were to receive it.”

The latest move comes after former ECB President Jean Claude Trichet eventually accepted an invitation to speak to members of the Oireachtas Banking Injury, but not in Leinster House.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, in 2015, Mr Trichet had rejected claims that the ECB “blackmailed” Ireland in November 2010 by forcing it into a Troika bailout.

Rather than force Ireland into a bailout, the ECB gave Ireland tremendous support, more than it gave to any other country.

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