Martin wants deal details published

Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 00:00

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called on the Government to publish the terms of the bank debt agreement with the European Central Bank.

He criticised the Government for not providing the full details of the agreement and said the public was entitled to an “independent and comprehensive assessment”.

Explaining Fianna Fáil’s decision to support the Government in the Oireachtas votes early yesterday, Mr Martin said he was continuing the principled Opposition stance which he promised after the general election. “We made it clear that we would welcome what is good for the country and hold them [the Government] to account on a variety of issues.”

‘Revisited’

He maintained that the original promissory notes deal was imposed upon Ireland rather than being agreed to by the government he was part of and the deal always had to be “revisited”. He maintained the deal would improve the funding situation of the State, but the impact on the budget would be “modest” amounting to €1 billion over the next two years.

The Fianna Fáil finance spokesman, Michael McGrath, said the €1 billion savings should be targeted at employment creation and alleviating the hardship of ordinary people “who have endured so much over the last four or five years”.

He said the agreement reached with the ECB amounted to a failure to implement “in its truest form” the agreement reached with the heads of euro zone governments in June when they provided for a complete separation of banking and sovereign debt. Instead, the promissory note was being converted into the “highest form of Government debt”.

Double the cost

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said the deal actually doubled the cost of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank by adding €1 billion worth of interest every year on to the principal of €28 billion which must be paid back after 2038.

Independent TD Catherine Murphy said the deal amounted to a burden sharing, not with the European institutions, but with future generations.

The United Left Alliance (ULA) said nobody should be fooled by the deal and said it amounted to the “full socialisation” of the debts of Irish people. The three ULA TDs, Joan Collins, Richard Boyd Barrett and Clare Daly, pointed out that there would be a €1 billion interest bill every year until 2038.