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People right to be angry, admits Cowen

Taoiseach Brian Cowen admitted people were "rightly angry" about what has happened with the banks as the bailout bill reached up to €50bn.

But Mr Cowen said it was up to the Government to now deal with the situation which confronted the State.

"It is not a zero-sum game. It is a question of how do we minimise the impact of what we are confronted with and how do we move on in a way that we have an effective banking system that serves the economy, that helps to maintain and grow jobs in the future," the Taoiseach said.

"So those realities have to be confronted and have to be dealt with."

The final cost that emerged for the Anglo bailout was a "truly appalling reflection" of the lending policies of the banks, the Taoiseach said at a conference organised by employers' group IBEC.

Mr Cowen said the Government was on track to reduce the Budget deficit to 3pc by 2014.

"That is our commitment. That is what we have to do.

"That is a rule of being part of the euro area and it is part of the stability and growth pact which are part of the rules which govern the membership of the area," he said.

Mr Cowen said he "didn't react much to polls" when questioned on the latest poll findings on Labour's popularity. "You have polls coming out every day of the week," he said.

Irish Independent