One year ago tomorrow, Leo Varadkar summarised Fine Gael ‘s banking policy with the promise that ‘Not Another Red Cent’ would be paid to the banks until senior bondholders were forced to share the burden. Today, all evidence of the landmark press conference appears to have been wiped from the Fine Gael website.
Fianna Fáil Seanad Leader Senator Darragh O’Brien commented, “Fine Gael ran a famously cynical election campaign and were completely opportunistic in Opposition. This approach was perfectly encapsulated in the landmark press conference one year ago tomorrow where Leo Varadkar told voters and the rest of the world that Fine Gael in Government would not spend another red cent on the banks.
“One year and almost €20 Billion in bank support later, Fine Gael appear to be trying to remove evidence of the promise, with the press conference disappearing from the Fine Gael website.
“While Minister Varadkar and other colleagues have tried to play down the promise and have sought to claim that of course they didn’t mean what they said, the consequences of the promise were significant. Quite apart from the false hope it gave hundreds of thousands of voters, just one week later we saw the price of Anglo bonds fall to half their face value as bond market vultures took Varadker at this word and sold the bonds they were told weren’t going to be repaid.
“Last month, as Minister Varadkar and his colleagues abandoned their promise and repaid the bonds in full, those who ignored him and bought the bonds cheaply made a killing, doubling their money.”
Senator O’Brien concluded, “It is little wonder that Fine Gael would try to ignore this infamous anniversary, but who are they trying to fool? Voters remember the promise because many of them voted Fine Gael on the basis of it. The bond markets remember it because some of their friends made a fortune out of it.”