Who is to blame for austerity and bailout?
Sir, – A Leavy (Letters, November 27th) writes that the “bailout was financed by our fellow EU member states”. In fact the ECB made this finance available only as loans so that the Irish taxpayer could repay the speculative money advanced by European banks to the Irish banks. German banks alone received €48 billion from these guarantees.
Ireland’s national debt now stands at about €200billion, the second highest in the developed economies, as a result of this bailout, split between sovereign debt (which a country certainly must repay) and private European bank debt levied on the Irish taxpayer.
The Irish Government accepted this extraordinary measure under the threat of a withdrawal of support from the ECB. – Yours, etc,
Greystones, Co Wicklow.