It wasn’t the ECB who started it

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Letters -

Sir — In his ar­ti­cle (Sun­day In­de­pen­dent, Jan­uary 6) Colm McCarthy spends a lot of time blam­ing the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank for what hap­pened to Ire­land as a re­sult of the bailout in 2010.

He fails to men­tion the ba­sic fact that it was the de­ci­sions of a small num­ber of the most pow­er­ful cit­i­zens in this coun­try, in charge of gov­ern­ment, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and so on, that bankrupted the coun­try and caused the need for a spec­tac­u­lar bailout.

The Ir­ish gov­ern­ment deficit in 2010 was of world-record pro­por­tions rel­a­tive to the size of the Ir­ish econ­omy. Due to hav­ing to bail out the banks and a col­lapse in tax take, Ir­ish gov­ern­ment ex­pen­di­ture was twice Ir­ish tax take and the con­se­quent deficit was nearly a third of Ir­ish GDP. To put those fig­ures in per­spec­tive rel­a­tive to the size of both economies, they were three times worse than the equiv­a­lent fig­ures for Greece, which was bailed out at much the same time.

When we are blam­ing the ECB, which was fund­ing the bailout, for the con­di­tions im­posed, which were suc­cess­ful, we should re­mem­ber that the vast ma­jor­ity of the coun­tries of the EU, in­clud­ing the poor­est, did not bank­rupt their economies but con­trib­uted to our bailout. A Leavy, Sut­ton, Dublin 13

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