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Friday 24 November 2017

Chatter in the worlds of politics and finance

"What the ECB has said to us and what the Troika has said to us -- it's on your head. We don't want you to want to default on these payments. It is your decision ultimately. But a bomb will go off; a bomb will go off in Dublin, not in Frankfurt."

Leo Varadkar, Transport Minister, warning against a default on senior bondholders with former Anglo Irish Bank.

"Those who make the call for not repaying have never spelt out what the consequences are. If you don't repay, will people lend to you? If people don't lend to us, and bear in mind what has caused us to get into the EU/IMF programme in the first place is that we weren't able to borrow on the markets -- we can't bridge the deficit that we have. What happens to public services? What happens to the hospitals? What happens to the schools? What happens to the pay of teachers, nurses, guards? What happens to the social welfare payments?"

Eamon Gilmore, An Tanaiste.

"We must all understand that this is a defining moment. It is not about saving any one country or region. We could easily slide into a 1930s moment, a moment where trust and co-operation break down and countries turn inward; a moment ultimately leading to a downward spiral that could engulf the entire world."

Christine Lagarde, IMF head.

"Obsessing about a second bailout for Ireland at this stage is a useless form of activity. In fact, talking about a second bailout at the beginning of 2012, with two years to run in the present support programme, is a form of displacement activity. It plays to our weaknesses -- our sense of pessimism and victimhood."

Brian Hayes, junior minister at the Department of Finance.

"Decreasing debt is a marathon, not a sprint. Going too fast will kill growth and further derail recovery."

Oliver Blanchard, IMF chief economist.

"Financial conditions have deteriorated, growth prospects have dimmed and downside risks have escalated."

World Economic Outlook Report of the IMF.

"It was encouraging as it shows increasing confidence among investors in the strong commitment of the Irish authorities to redress the situation and fully implement the EU/IMF programme."

Spokesperson for the EU Commission on the successful sale of Irish government bonds.

"We aren't saying that we don't want to show solidarity, but we don't want to be in a situation in which we promise something we can't deliver. If Germany promised (to double or treble the euro rescue fund) and if the markets attacked, we would not be able to come up with what's needed and we would have an open flank."

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor.

"There is a categoric 'no' to starting with eurobonds. The pooling of debt is not the quick fix. This is not the first step. It might be the last step in a process that will lead to deeper integration.

Dr Eckhard Lubkemeier, German ambassador to Ireland.

"What happened was that people simply went mad borrowing."

Enda Kenny, An Taoiseach, explaining the Irish financial crisis in Davos.

"The Taoiseach is clearly taking one approach at home and another abroad. While he's here, the priority is media management and preserving popularity. When he is abroad the priority appears to be to avoid putting the blame where it belongs."

Niall Collins, Fianna Fail TD.

"Why should Irish taxpayers have to give up health and education to make good on a loan from a private bank?"

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize-winning US economist.

Sunday Independent

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