Mixed political reaction to ECB deal
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin: gave a conditional welcome to the deal
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has described the bank debt deal as a great day for Ireland and an opportunity for the economy.
“This package of measures will make a marked difference to Ireland’s debt sustainability,” he said.
Ireland's borrowing requirement would be reduced by €20 billion over the next 10 years, he told the Dail.
“We will reduce our deficit by an annual figure of €1 billion from 2014. We are tearing up the promissory note and we have wiped Anglo Irish Bank off the map.”
Mr Gilmore said when he worked as a trade union official he had learnt early on to never organise an ice cream strike in winter. “When you’re in negotiations, don’t play your hand until your hand is strong. We knew and understood that we first had to repair Ireland’s reputation abroad," he said. “The Government made it clear that we were willing to deal with our own problems but were carrying an unacceptable share of other people’s problems."
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin gave a conditional welcome to the deal and said Ireland deserved a significant easing of the burden of its banking debt. He said ECB and EU had changed their positions in the last two years from a policy since 2008 of avoiding contagion. The ECB governor Mario Draghi had made a difference as well in terms of his more pragmatic approach and that had changed the atmosphere across Europe.He pointed out that Ireland was sticking to the bailout programme, despite condemnation of that plan, agreed by the then Fianna Fáil-led government.
He acknowledged it will improve the cashflow position and Ireland’s funding position. But he asked what difference will the deal make to the overall stock of Government debt. “It would appear that none is the answer,” he said. “Do we owe as much today as we owed yesterday?
However, Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty attacked the Taoiseach over the deal. “You have said to every man woman and child in this State is that they will pay back every single penny of the toxic tax Anglo debt, a cost of €14,000 for every man, woman and child in the State."
The Government is replacing a promissory note with a sovereign bond of €28 billion with no write-down whatsoever, he said. “So much for the declaration of separation of toxic bank debt and sovereign debt,” he said. “This week my youngest son began to crawl. He wasn’t even born at the time the promissory note was issued by Micheal Martin and his Cabinet colleagues yet he will be 40 years of age and the State will still paying back the toxic debts of Anglo Irish Bank."
Independent TD Mattie McGrath said he hoped when Government TDs returned to their constituencies they would still think it was such a good deal or would they be laughing on the other side of their faces. “When is a deal not a deal?” he asked. “This clearly is not a deal.”