| 6.2°C Dublin

Pat Cox considers run for Presidency

Pat Cox, who was one of the founders of the Progressive Democrats and is a former president of the European Parliament, has not ruled out running for the Park.

Asked if he would run for the presidency, Mr Cox said yesterday: "I certainly would take some time to consider it... I am prepared to ask myself a question this week that wasn't even on my mind a week ago."

The former MEP said that in negotiations relating to the ECB/IMF bailout, Ireland should insist on a parity of treatment with Greece, which has been given an interest rate cut.

"We've done our lifting and they have to do their lifting now", he said.

He told Marian Finucane that Irish banks went on an orgy of greed from 2003.

"Anglo was defying the law of gravity", and other banks "threw caution to the wind", Mr Cox said.

In the aftermath of last week's results of the bank stress tests, Mr Cox said that we have to hope that we have "drawn a line under the deniability" and "the incredibility" of Irish figures.

Asked about public anger at the EU, he said that decisions were made here in Ireland.

"This was not done in Europe," he said.

Mr Cox described the bank guarantee scheme as probably "the most reckless decision" in the history of the State.

"We did that, not the ECB, or someone in Paris of Berlin... no one in Europe told us to do it, or asked us to do it."

In understanding how we got to where we are now, Mr Cox said that "instead of looking for scapegoats" we need to look for "insights".

He suggested that Ireland opted to follow the philosophy of Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US Fed and the "high priest of ultra liberalism", who believed that markets would "manage their own risk".

That is why we are faring worse than our EU neighbours who are not in the euro.

Sunday Independent