Irish people not troika bailed out State, claims Bono

U2 frontman addresses Merkel and EPP members in Dublin

Speaking at the European People's Party Congress, U2 singer Bono pleads for greater unity among European nations to fight corruption and work together socially as well as economically, in a light-hearted speech. Video: Reuters

 

The Irish people not the troika bailed out the State, U2 singer Bono told members of the European People’s Party in Dublin today.

Bono addressed the centre-right leaders - including German chancellor Angela Merkel - at today’s summit in Dublin of Fine Gael’s European affiliate.

“I want to give an enormous, enormous shout out. The biggest shout out I have in my heart, to the Irish people for coming through. I’d love to say it was the Troika but I think it was despite the Troika. The Irish people bailed the Irish people out,” he said.

Bono attended the event on foot of an invitation from Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his engagement with EPP leaders is non-partisan politically and part of his ongoing dialogue with global leaders.

“For all this progress, for all these achievements, nearly 60 years after the Treaty of Rome, Europe is an economic entity that still needs to become a social entity,” he said. “Europe is a thought that needs to become a feeling.”

Bono attended as a representative of the One campaign against extreme poverty, a group which argues that it is crucial for European leaders to introduce measures to make it more difficult to move money secretly around the world.

The One campaign believes money secretly moved from sub-Saharan Africa through the financial system amounts to some €38.6bn per year, greater than the €29.8 billion the region receives in developmental aid from wealthy western countries.

He called at the EPP meeting for action in European law to introduce public registers of the ownership of “phantom firms” and off-shore companies and trusts.

“Right now, your ministers . . . and your members of the European Parliament are working on another law that could help transform the lives for the poor, and the rest of us, too,” he said.

“It’s a law to inject daylight into the financial system to stop corrupt monies vanishing to ‘safe’ havens and combat money laundering,” he said.

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