Germans unhappy as Anglo ‘mocking’ makes front page

Bild says bankers made fun of savers’ naïveté


It took almost five years, but the tapes of ex-Anglo Irish Bank executives have finally put Ireland on the front page of the best-selling Bild tabloid.

“Irish broke bankers mock German customers — Deutschland Über alles” is the headline on today’s page one story.

“They mocked their customers even as they were doomed,” begins the story on the Anglo tapes.

Audio: Derek Scally on the German press reaction to the Anglo tapes

Though the bank’s ex-managers knew a State bank guarantee “would not be enough”, they “made fun of the naïveté of German savers”, described them as “Scheissdeutsche” and “sang the first verse of “Deutschland, Deutschland Über Alles”.

For years the influential Bild has adopted a moderate line on Ireland while attacking “broke” Greeks, “crooked” Cypriots and other bailout candidates. Yesterday marked the end of this kid-glove treatment.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung puts its traditional restraint aside in today’s edition, recommending that former Anglo executives are put in a “big sack” along with all shareholders, creditors, members of the last Irish government and relevant members of the Irish Central Bank and Irish and European regulatory authorities.

“Then one hits the sack with a club until the screams of pain are unbearable,” it advised in an editorial. “Afterwards, all decision-makers in Europe take citizens by the hand and assure them that a debacle such as that of Anglo Irish Bank will never again be permitted.”

Germany’s Handelsblatt business daily headlined its report: “Billions ‘pulled out of arse’.”

Citing Taoiseach Enda Kenny, it added: “It remains to be seen if the top floor of Anglo consciously misled then Irish leaders or worked secretly with them to keep the booming property market alive.”

The Neue Zurcher Zeitung, in its report “The Hubris of Irish Bankers”, cited Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore that the “insight into the attitude of Irish bankers would complicate his efforts to have the ESM rescue fund move in the direction of still-existing banks”.

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