Senator Daly: The attitude of some of the EU governments could be likened to the attitude of Captain Bligh of the famous “Mutiny on the Bounty”. When ordering some of the members of his crew to be given 50 lashes, he said the beatings would continue until morale improves. That is exactly what we are seeing in Europe where the EU and eurozone Ministers are continuing to beat and punish Greece until its morale improves or it does what they want.
What is amazing about the situation is that while the current Greek Government did not cause the crisis, those who did are the ones who are benefiting the most, namely, the German banks and those other EU banks that lent recklessly to Greece. There also seems to be a collective amnesia, especially among the Germans, who seem to have forgotten the 1953 London debt agreement whereby nearly 50% of their debt was written off. Greece might have incurred debt because of reckless spending but the Germans incurred the debt because they caused a world war, and yet they seem to be insisting that Greece would have to suffer the humiliation of a Versailles Treaty-type arrangement.
What is more surprising is that our Government is backing the policy of the beatings continuing until morale improves by insisting that Greece gets no quarter when it comes to debt. The reason for that has nothing to do with the best interests of Ireland, which would be that Greece would get a debt write-down and therefore we too could argue that we should get a debt write-down. However, that would not suit the mission and the position of the Government.
The beatings will also continue until morale improves for those on tracker mortgages in Ireland. The Irish taxpayer lent €64 billion to the Irish banks. We have 300,000 people on tracker mortgages. The Government said it would act. It has given the banks until 1 July for them to come back to it, but of course the banks are only laughing at the Government. The Minister for Finance has the power to instruct the Central Bank to take charge of the issue and to ensure that the banks pass on the reductions in the European Central Bank rate, but it is failing to do so. Is that a new continuation of a policy that was known as light touch regulation?