When bank and tax crisis merged into hell of a mess
The European Union ruling on Ireland's debt leaves Lenihan's bank plans in tatters, writes Daniel McConnell
Last December, in the aftermath of budget day, amid tense exchanges and a barrage of abuse from Fine Gael, Taoiseach Brian Cowen claimed the €4bn injection of cash into Anglo Irish Bank was an investment, from which the Irish taxpayer would see a return.
Last Thursday, the EU blew Mr Cowen's claim out of the water. The EU, in what is in truth a rap on the knuckles for Mr Lenihan and co, declared the €4bn given to Anglo must be counted on the Government's day-to-day spending books.
While dismissed by the Department of Finance as a mere "technical adjustment", the EU's ruling has pushed Ireland's debt level from 11.8 per cent to 14.3 per cent, the highest of any country in Europe.