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Taxpayers left paying the burden

The remarks by EU Economic Commissioner Olli Rehn to the effect that Ireland should not question the squandering of over €3.1bn to pay back promissory notes to speculators in a dead bank is the latest masterclass in arrogance, courtesy of the country’s new EU overlords (Irish Examiner, Mar 14).

Whatever way one cares to break it down, Ireland is (along with Greece, Portugal et al) now effectively being dictated to by the two largest European states and our Taoiseach seems happy to allow this even if it means that, in total, over the next 20 years, the State will have to fork out just short of €50bn to the speculators who lost out on their gamble. Too bad if a generation of Irish citizens are forced to emigrate on account of the fallout from the counterproductive austerity measures that they now wish to enshrine legally by putting a gun — again — to our heads in a referendum.

This dictatorship is quite blatant and apparent to anyone with even half functioning grey matter.

If the new dictatorship requires periodic trips to the German Chancellor and French President in order to have his belly tickled and show how submissive we are, then so be it. We have completely abandoned any pretence to embarrassment, never mind independence and self-preservation.

It’s important to bear in mind that, at the height of our absurd economic boom, under the stewardship of Bertie Ahern and his discredited Government, Ireland was held up as a model economy by precisely the same nations that are now seeking to bully it into submission.

But then again, as has been oft reported, the Anglo gamblers for whom we are now being held to ransom in order to refund, also comprise, for the most part, German and French nationals. Furthermore, there is no mechanism to throw someone out of the euro or throw someone out of the European Union, no matter what we do.

The ECB threat to cut liquidity off is a baseless threat. These are the words of Trinity College Economics Prof Brian Lucey when he appeared before an Oireachtas Committee (Feb 14).

It seems, so often to me, that everybody else seems to be able to fight their corner bar the unfortunate Irish taxpayer. Shame on them or shame on us?

JD Mangan


Co Dublin


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