A determination to avoid dealing with the central issue

On this evening's Tonight with Vincent Browne, Stephen Donnelly, Siobhán Creaton, Peter Mathews and Averil Power will discuss the promissory note deal and today's meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform. Below, Vincent shares his thoughts ahead of the programme.

Point two of Fine Gael’s five-point election plan stated the following:

 “Fine Gael believes that the IMF/EU bailout deal has not and will not restore investor confidence in our country, and must therefore be renegotiated to reduce the interest rate and to ensure a fairer sharing of the cost of fixing Ireland’s broken banks. The current deal is bad for Ireland – and bad for Europe."

 Here was a clear commitment on burden sharing in fixing our banks.

In the banking section of the manifesto, Fine Gael promised:

“Fine Gael in Government will force certain classes of bond-holders to share in the cost of recapitalising troubled financial institutions. This will be done unilaterally for the most junior bondholders (owners of preference shares, sub-ordinated debt and similar instruments), but could be extended – as part of a European-wide framework – for senior debt, focusing on insolvent institutions like Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide that have no systemic importance.”

Here a clear commitment to seek a write down of the bank debt.

But, according to repeated statements over the last few months by Enda Kenny, the government never sought a write down of the debt since it came into office. Enda Kenny has boasted Ireland will not have the word 'defaulter' branded across its forehead.

So the massive bank debt, which is and never was the responsibility of the Irish people, is to remain foisted on the Irish people and not a request will be made to rectify that injustice, in spite of the election promises.

And so it is with the Anglo promissory notes, amounting to over €30 billion. Negotiations to defer the repayment, to fiddle around with the interest payments, but a determination to avoid dealing with the central issue: to have the debt lifted from the Irish people. {jathumbnailoff}

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