Monday 27 January 2020

What they have said

I think this is a deal that cannot be mixed up with other deals. If everyone tried to make conditions then nothing would happen. Germany has already given guarantees for other countries, so everyone has to do something to come to a joint positive solution in our interest.

What we need now is agreement to assure the markets that everyone will keep to the rules. It is not a question of new powers, it is a question that rules will be adhered to because we have lost credibility due to wrong behaviour by many countries -- including my own -- in the last decade. So the message must go out that everyone will keep the rules in order to build credibility among the markets.

Elmar Brok, German CDU MEP, speaking against debt forgiveness for Ireland.

It is difficult to see a referendum being successful unless we can strike a deal on the debt. It would be crazy to have a referendum unless we need to have one. A referendum would be about whether we want to stay in the euro, and the consequences and the instability that could be created during the campaign could have devastating consequences for the economy and prompt a flight of capital from the country.

Brian Hayes, Minister of State

The main thing that would be desirable would be to break this link between the sovereign and the financial system more effectively than has been done so far. The prospects for the programme's success remain positive. The substantial deterioration in the regional economic outlook represents a major external drag on Ireland's recovery, and also poses large downside risks. IMF, supporting some debt forgiveness for this country.

You have a lot of people, especially outside the euro area, who really spend a lot of time in what I think is morbid speculation, namely 'what happens if?' And they all have catastrophic scenarios for the euro area. I have no doubt whatsoever about the strength of the euro, about its permanence, about its irreversibility.

Mario Draghi ECB chief

Keeping it would need a miracle but I want to believe it can happen.

Jean-Pierre Jouyet of the AMF, the French advisory body for investors, on the chances of France keeping its AAA rating.

The AAA rating on debt issues (for the EFSF) largely depends on France and Germany retaining their AAA status. The revision of the rating outlook on France to negative . . . implies that the risk of a downgrade of EFSF debt has increased. We affirmed France's AAA status, but warned that there is a slightly greater than 50 per cent chance of a downgrade within the next year or two. This is therefore also the case for the AAA ratings assigned to the EFSF's debt issues, unless additional credit enhancement mechanisms are introduced.

Fitch ratings agency

This mechanism shall be defined at national level, on the basis of commonly agreed principles. It shall include the obligation of the contracting parties to present a programme to correct the deviations over a defined period of time.

Extract from an early draft of the proposed EU agreement to save the euro.

People who think like Joe Higgins and Clare Daly have been campaigning across Europe since the French Revolution for a tax on property. It seems to me that we have a lot of challenges because of the economic situation this Government inherited, and a lot of rich pickings for people who want to protest only. But I don't think that the household charge is the one that I would pick first. The last time Joe Higgins and Clare Daly engaged in a similar protest was in respect of the bin charges in Dublin and it was successful in privatising the bin service right across the city.

Pat Rabbitte, Communications Minister

Sunday Independent

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