Tuesday 23 January 2018

IMF's Ajai Chopra has done Ireland a favour

Ajai Chopra
Ajai Chopra

For many Irish people, photographs of Ajai Chopra walking past a beggar in the centre of Dublin recall those dark days we would rather forget. But the candour of the International Monetary Fund's senior executive is welcome and potentially helpful.

Mr Chopra was a central figure in Ireland's bailout in November 2011. And his stinging criticism of the European Central Bank's conduct at that time adds to Irish people's misgivings about the Frankfurt-based bank.

His comments come at a pivotal time in the parliamentary banking inquiry's work, as the TDs and Senators prepare to question political leaders and senior Government officials about the lead up, and response, to the banking system collapse in autumn 2008. The high-profile politicians have already made it clear that they will attend the inquiry and try to answer all the questions which arise. Despite persistent scepticism about the value of this inquiry, the people are entitled to know precisely why things went so horribly wrong, and what information led to the official responses to those series of financial crises which cost the country so dearly.

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