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Noonan: I won't ask Trichet to appear at bank probe

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Jean-Claude Trichet

Jean-Claude Trichet

Jean-Claude Trichet

Members of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry were warned yesterday to be "very selective" as to who they call as witnesses to ensure they complete their work on time.

Amid increasing concern that the inquiry may fail before it concludes its work, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he will not personally intervene to ask former ECB president Jean Claude Trichet (above) to attend the banking inquiry.

Asked if he would appeal to Mr Trichet, who has indicated previously he will not attend, to come to Dublin, Mr Noonan said: "I won't be talking to him".

In an interview with the Sunday Independent last September, Mr Trichet, who repeatedly blocked Irish Government attempts to burn senior bondholders in the banks, said he would not be appearing before any inquiry. He said that it was a matter for the ECB's Irish representative, Governor Patrick Honohan, to attend on the bank's behalf.

Interfere

Mr Noonan said: "I don't want to say anything that would interfere with the inquiry. I'm certainly not going to be advising them either way," he added.

The inquiry committee met in private yesterday to discuss the final report of its ad-hoc expert group, which included economists Colm McCarthy and Megan Greene.

An initial proposal put forward by Chairman Ciaran Lynch to put in place a procedure to test potential bias held by committee members was ultimately withdrawn, having been deemed unworkable.

The committee is to put its work programme forward for Dail approval next Wednesday.

Irish Independent