Debt relief and Greece


Sir, – The recent decision of the ECB to no longer accept Greek collateral issued or guaranteed by the Greek government has been made by this “politically independent” institution in the aftermath of the Greek election results (“ECB turns up pressure on Athens by refusing Greek bonds”, Front Page, February 5th).

The junk status of Greek debt has, until now, been waived by the ECB to accept Greek collateral. In the wake of the Greek elections, the ECB has decided, in its political independence, that this waiver no longer applies. Coincidence?

The sooner the EU recognises that its political and fiscal infrastructure is not fit for purpose the better. – Yours, etc,


Castleknock, Dublin 15.

Sir, – Much of the coverage of the post-Greek election situation amounts to little more than an apologia for Greek threats to default on their own self-inflicted debts and ask the citizens of other EU and euro zone countries to pay for it.

The narrative being promoted all over the media now is that of the newly elected Greek government attempting to intimidate its fellow members in the EU and especially those in the euro zone.

The present Greek government is demanding that the citizens of other euro zone countries pay the price for decades of irresponsibility by Greek governments and Greek banks.

Most euro zone members did not go bankrupt. They did not have to look for a bailout because the decision makers in charge of their governmental and financial institutions did not make reckless and irresponsible decisions.

Yet the taxpayers of some small eastern European countries, which are now in the euro zone, are being threatened with picking up the costs for what is generally recognised as dysfunctional administration over decades which allowed endemic tax avoidance by wealthy Greeks and reckless lending by Greek banks.

We can see how hypocritical the case being made by Greece is when we realise that the citizens of these small eastern European countries, which are not among the richest in the world and have their own problems, did not threaten to pull the house down when they had financial difficulties.

The decision-makers in positions of power in government and banking in these poorer countries acted responsibly yet the injustice of their citizens being threatened with paying for the irresponsibility of their Greek equivalents is being ignored by much of the current commentary. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.