Date Released: 04 January 2013
Labour Ministers have called on the European Central Bank (ECB) to recognise Ireland’s commitment to sustainable economic recovery and deliver a bank debt deal.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, said: “We had very robust exchanges with the Trokia, and they are not singing from the same hymn sheet to the same degree all of the time.
“The ECB had, and has, a perspective that it has a lot of its own money at stake in this economy.
“The IMF have often been viewed as the bogeymen, but in fairness they have a much better understanding than most of bringing an economy from being broken back to good health. They have acknowledged how far we have come.”
He warned that the State is heading towards an unsustainable level of debt due to the burden of the €64 billion bank bailout.
“I have said there is no point being the best boy in the class if all you get is more homework.”
The need for the ECB to recognise Ireland’s progress within the confines of the Trokia programme has also been highlighted by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte.
He said: “The purposes from the IMF’s point of view of being in a programme, and the ECB have no experience in this because they have never been there before, is to get market access at the end of the programme. The ECB saw it as a matter of the Irish being punished rather than being helped.”
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is organising a series of major demonstrations to demand a restructuring of Ireland’s debt burden as “a prerequisite for recovery and a necessary condition for the maintenance of social cohesion.”
Demonstrations will be held in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Limerick and Waterford and are timed to coincide with EU Council of Ministers’ meetings. Ireland holds the EU Presidency for the first six months of 2013.