European response 'too little, too late'


THE EUROPEAN response to the present financial crisis has been “incoherent and inadequate,” according to Peter Sutherland, chairman of Goldman Sachs.

In a speech to the Irish Exporters Association president’s lunch yesterday, where he was presented with the association’s gold medal award for his contribution to Irish export trade development, Mr Sutherland said European actions “have been constantly too little and too late, resulting in a rolling crisis”.

The former EU commissioner said Ireland should remain committed to Europe. “Our vital national interest is in remaining supportive of European integration. That process is still key to our future . . .”

On debt restructuring, Mr Sutherland said it was “not inevitable” that Ireland would need to restructure. While pointing out the argument for restructuring was one of “fairness” for Irish taxpayers, he said default would hit Irish banks and pension funds, which were substantial holders of the debt.