Wednesday 24 January 2018

Little wriggle room on economy

A ticking bomb, or a sporting gesture? There will be two views of Finance Minister Brian Lenihan's decision to seek EU/IMF permission to postpone the injection of €7bn of fresh capital into the Irish banks.

Mr Lenihan said it was because the caretaker Fianna Fail government does not have a mandate to write the cheque three weeks before an election. His opponents say he does not want to be seen writing what will be an unpopular cheque before polling day.

The key point, surely, is that he had to get clearance for the delay. This re-capitalisation of AIB, Bank of Ireland and EBS (Anglo is not included) is part of the bailout deal and was supposed to be done by the end of the month.

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