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FF’s Micheal Martin accuses Government of being ‘too passive’ on debt

THE GOVERNMENT is too "passive" in accepting that our sovereign and bank debt can’t be separated, Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin said today.

And he called on the coalition to assert Ireland’s position in Europe.

He was commenting on the Spanish bailout loans of up to €100bn.

“This is a bad deal insofar as it does not deal comprehensively with the issue facing the euro zone itself and the euro zone crisis. As predicted, it’s too little to late yet again,” he said.

“For the euro zone generally it’s a bad deal and it’s a bad deal for Ireland in the sense that it didn’t herald the severing of the link between the sovereign debt and the bank debt,” he said.

Mr Martin also said that Taoiseach Enda Kenny had refused to tell him in the Dail what German Chancellor had said to him about bank debt during a telephone conversation following the Yes vote in the fiscal treaty referendum.

“I think we got a sense of the answer this week in the context of the Spanish deal. Clearly Angela Merkel was not up for a severing of the sovereign debt from the bank debt,” he said.

The Government has said its long-term goal is a deal on the €30bn-plus promissory note debt in relation to Anglo Irish Bank, now IBRC.

Some analysts believe that concerns about Spain and Italy, much larger countries, have put Ireland on the back burner in Europe and a deal on the debt is not a runner in the short to medium term.