Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that yesterday’s comments by ESM chief Klaus Regling on the issue of legacy debt “cast doubt on the Government’s claim to have secured a deal on this issue at the June 29th European Council meeting”.
Deputy Doherty said: “Last Thursday I challenged the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan on his claim that the June 29th European Council statement included a commitment to allow ESM funds to be used to retrospectively recapitalise Irish banks.
“Today’s statement on the matter by the new chief of the ESM cast doubt on the governments claim to have secured a deal on this issue at the June 29th European Council meeting.
“When asked today by RTE if the June 29th statement on ESM funds could apply to legacy bank debt Mr Regling said, ‘This part has not been discussed by any European bodies.’
“Clearly Mr Regling’s interpretation of the issue is very different to that of the Irish Government.
“At the time Sinn Féin accused the government of overselling the June 29th deal. It is becoming increasingly clear that we were right. Indeed today it appears that the government’s entire approach to the issue of banking debt is in tatters.
“There is still no sign of a deal on the Anglo Irish promissory note debt with government now claiming that it will be March 2013 at the earliest before the matter is concluded. “Meanwhile the government’s claim of a ‘seismic shift’ at the June 29th summit appears increasingly groundless.
“We need a new approach from the government on the €64m banking debt burden because clearly the current approach is not working.”