Two years on from the EU summit agreement which was heralded as a ‘major game-changer’ for Ireland, the government has failed to deliver on the promised deal on retroactive bank recapitalisation and must commit to re-doubling its efforts to secure a bank debt deal for Ireland, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath.
Deputy McGrath stated, “This weekend two years ago, the EU leaders reached an agreement which was described as a ‘major game-changer’ for Ireland by the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and as ‘a seismic shift’ by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Since then, the government has not achieved any breakthrough whatsoever on the retroactive bank recapitalisation.
“The truth is that, while the EU agreement appeared significant on the surface, it was dramatically over-sold in Ireland by the government. No sooner was the ink dry on the summit communique when some of the more powerful eurozone countries were putting an entirely different spin on what was actually agreed. The reference to specifically examining the Irish financial sector has not resulted in one cent of the €30 billion injected by Ireland to save AIB, Bank of Ireland and PTSB being refunded by the EU.
“The government leaders here were in such a rush to go further than each other in welcoming the agreement that they didn’t secure anything in the agreement itself that would deliver with certainty a tangible and measurable deal to make our debt more sustainable and help Irish citizens.
“Two years on, a deal on the retroactive bank recapitalisation seems as far away as ever. It isn’t even clear what the Irish government is looking for. Minister Noonan has refused to say whether he wants to dispose of some of the State’s shareholding in the banks to the ESM and at what valuation. The Minister has even refused to commit to applying for a bank debt deal when the the formal application process opens in November. At this stage, there is a hardly a serious commentator left who believes that the government will get the deal it was in such a rush to promise two years ago.
“The EU deal of June 2012 has not delivered for Ireland. Our government must take the message back to Europe that everything is not fine in Ireland and that we need a deal on our bank debt that can ultimately be felt in the pockets of ordinary Irish citizens”.