Anglo tapes have damaged Ireland’s reputation - Kenny
German chancellor Angela Merkel says she regards information disclosed in tapes with contempt
“But the point is when you speak to people who have been affected by the carry of these people that’s where the rage and the anger and the frustration is so evident,” he said.
“As I said for people who worked the system, who controlled the system, who were the system they have a lot to answer for. I can’t comment on the outcome of any court cases that may emerge, that will be followed through, that’s a matter independently for the courts.
“But I do think that between this and then there is the need for an opportunity for the parliamentary system and for the elected politicians now to be able to have an opportunity for people to speak their minds and speak the truth.”
Earlier Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said there was no reason why politicians and others centrally involved in the bank guarantee should not give evidence to an inquiry in a public forum this year.
“For those people to be required to swear an oath and answer questions truthfully before the Irish parliament I think will be a huge advance.”
He also rejected Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin’s claim that a parliamentary inquiry could not be unbiased, saying “some people will want to kick this down the road as far as possible”.
Last night the German leader said the disrespectful tone towards the wider society appeared to be a common problem in the banking community - in Ireland, Germany and elsewhere.
“I have nothing but contempt for this,” she said. “The tone seems to be similar across all banks.
“It is for us a huge challenge to convince people who get up every day and every day do their work and always pay their taxes, do everything, even show solidarity with other people who are weaker. All of this is destroyed by that and so I have nothing but contempt for that,” she said.
“For people who go to work every day and earn their money, it is very, very difficult to understand, if at all.”
Transcripts of telephone conversations from 2008, published by the Irish Independent, between bankers at Anglo Irish Bank have caused outrage in Ireland and beyond in recent days.
The German media has reacted badly to excerpts of the Anglo tapes mocking Germans and singing “Deutschland Uber Alles”.
In the tapes senior executives at Anglo made light of the Irish government’s decision at the height of the global financial crisis to guarantee their liabilities and talk about demanding “moolah” - slang for money - from the Central Bank.
The Bild tabloid put the story on its front page on Wednesday under the headline: “Broke Bankers Mocked German customers”. “It is a real damage to democracy...for everything we work for,” she said.
Chancellor Merkel drew parallels between the Anglo Irish Bank tapes and “The Raspberry Kingdom”, a play running in Berlin based on post-crisis interviews with bankers in Frankfurt, Dublin and other capitals.
The government offered a blanket guarantee to all Irish banks, including Anglo in 2008 to keep them operating.