Tuesday 20 February 2018

Empty guarantees bring empty ATMs

Last week's proposed conditions for a Cypriot bailout were reckless and stupid, writes Gene Kerrigan

IMAGINE this. A renowned surgeon is about to operate on a patient's heart. Just before he begins, he takes out a soiled handkerchief and casually uses it to wipe his scalpel. Every last person who witnessed or heard of the event – whether a medical expert or a lay person – would know instantly that this was terribly wrong. Two conclusions would beg to be drawn.

One: in the immediate term, this guy would be kicked off the case. Someone else would perform the operation. And, two: everyone would agree that any medic capable of such a grossly wrong act could never again be trusted to carry out a serious medical procedure.

The Troika screw-up over Cyprus is a very big deal. It hits the Cypriots first, but it hits us too. It undermines the already weak European banking system. And it destroys the excuses used by the Troika and the Irish Government to load Irish citizens with private debt.

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