Trichet still denies he forced us to pick up bill
Claims that the ECB gave advice, not threats, over bondholder payments are a euro-porkie, says Colm McCarthy
Jean-Claude Trichet spoke in Dublin on Thursday about the Irish financial crash and the role he played before and after the bubble burst in September 2008. Members of the Oireachtas inquiry questioned the former ECB president at an event staged in the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, an arrangement designed to avoid any appearance of direct accountability of current, or even former, ECB officials to elected members of national legislatures.
Mr Trichet was furnished with the committee's questions in advance. The format was wholly unsatisfactory and key questions about the ECB's dealings with Ireland went unasked and some more went unanswered.
The defenders of European policy through the crisis have had to shift position continuously as the disaster has unfolded, without conceding either that the euro experiment was poorly conceived or that the common currency has been mismanaged. That this is an impossible task was amply demonstrated by Trichet in Kilmainham.