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Ireland took one for the team?

by Frank Schnittger Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 12:24:19 PM EST

Michael Noonan, Irish Finance Minister, is famous for his sometimes impolitic remarks. Here he is in a Bloomberg interview making the case that Europe owes Ireland for "taking one for the team" when the Irish banking bailout saved the European banking system from the contagion that an Irish banking collapse might have precipitated. It is a view widely held in Ireland, though perhaps more in hope than in expectation. Some think that the ECB "holding its nose" whilst the Irish Government restructured Anglo-Irish bank debts was the first installment of some payback by the EU. Germany's Jens Weidmann criticised the restructuring as bordering on monetary financing but did not actually block the deal when he had the chance.

The more general case Noonan is making - as one would expect from a Finance Minister - is that the Irish bailout is working, modest growth has returned, bond yields are coming down, and that Ireland should be able to exit the bailout and return to the sovereign debt markets on schedule next year. I would welcome the views of ET members as to whether this is a realistic or desirable prospect, or whether he is living in cloud cuckoo land.

Personally I imagine most of the elites within the EU think the Irish were suckers for believing the hype. They have the same amount of gratitude as any con-man shows for the mark

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 10:08:08 AM EST
The only objection is that Ireland is not known to have bailed out its banks at the behest of the ECB or EcoFin or Eurogroup. Everyone was shocked at the time, and actually disappointed that Irish politicians started bragging that they now had the safest banking system in Europe. I remember in particular an Irish minister appealing t British depositors on British radio to send their savings to Irish banks.

The Irish blanket guarantee was one of the things that forced the EU to harmonize deposit insurance across member states, but that's about as much as can be said for it.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 10:48:32 AM EST

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