ESM’s cold comfort

Klaus Regling

The visit of ESM fund chief Klaus Regling to Dublin yesterday, and that he came in an atmosphere far less fraught than might have been the case some years ago, was informative and slightly dispiriting.

His assertion that the reduction in Ireland’s borrowing costs can be attributed, at least in part, to the decision not to impose losses on senior bank bondholders is not as comforting as he might imagine it to be. The assertion certainly does not change the fact that an immoral burden has been imposed on this country to protect the interests of those who bankrolled reckless bankers. This simple reality persists even if Mr Regling was able to say, accurately, that there is no “unanimous support” in the eurozone to retrospectively offer the kind of support that would make that multibillion-euro burden less onerous.

That Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who has repeatedly shown the value of patience throughout this crisis, had to respond as stoically as he did shows that we are indeed still dependent on the kindness of strangers.


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