Consumers deserve better, as do the retailers that have little choice but to place their confidence in meat factories.
This brings us to the Government, which has not to date been conducting DNA tests in meat plants.
In an ideal world, this is not something that would have to happen, but this week’s events unfortunately prove it is now urgently needed.
In its absence, it is hard to dismiss the notion that horse meat could just be the start of something much bigger.
Kallakis case closes to AIB’s certain relief
AIB must be hoping that the conviction in London of Achilleas Kallakis and Alexander Williams will draw a veil over what has been an excruciating episode for the bank.
The verdict confirms that the bank was the victim of a very elaborate £740 million fraud, but at the same time it was the architect of its own downfall to a significant extent.
In a parting shot yesterday, George Carter-Stephenson QC accused AIB of “contributory negligence” and having a sloppy attitude to paperwork.
He said this had been “brought about by what may appear to be the rather cavalier attitude of banks towards the lending of vast sums of money”.
This of course will come as no surprise to anyone on this side of the water, although things are much better at the bank now we are told.
What we have not been told is why AIB did what it did with the Kallakis properties once it seized them in 2008.
The portfolio was sold to Green Property on very attractive terms but at what seemed at the time to be a very good price given the state of the London property market and the state of the global credit markets.
The deal left the bank open to accusations that it was trying to avoid having to take a big writedown on the value of a portfolio at what could not have been a worst time. Like every other bank, AIB was trying desperately to convince everyone – including itself – that it was solvent.
Time has found the bank out in that regard and it has also rendered the questions surrounding the Green deal somewhat moot as the performance of London commercial property has confounded most of the predictions made in 2008.
The bank has always declined to discuss the transaction and how it made financial sense for the bank on the basis that there was an ongoing legal action involving Kallakis.
Now the issue is resolved chief executive David Duffy (above) is in a position to clear things up if he so chooses.
The CSO will release December inflation figures and the High Court will hear an update on the Director of Corporate Enforcement’s investigation into the former Anglo Irish Bank.
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