Sunday 18 March 2018

We're in no position to dictate terms

It took just over a month for Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore's declaration during the recent general election campaign that it would be "Labour's way or Frankfurt's way" to be exposed for the vainglorious bombast it always was.

As the events surrounding this week's publication of the latest set of bank stress tests demonstrated, with the EU and the ECB holding all of the cards, it is very definitely to be Frankfurt's way.

With the exception of the ECB agreeing to slightly lower the standards of the collateral it will accept when lending to the Irish banks, our Government achieved none of its objectives this week. The punitive 5.8pc interest rate remains in place and it was unable to persuade the ECB to transfer some of the almost €150bn of short-term funding it has lent to the Irish banks to a more stable medium-term facility.

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