500 Million of your money burned yet we can’t afford to fund basic services

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By Luke Ming Flanagan

Over 600 people lying on trolleys in corridors in A&E, more and more people taking their own lives as the banks close in on their homes, more and more of our already depleted young population being encouraged by their own government to emigrate to take up jobs overseas – in a week when what’s likely to happen in the upcoming Greek elections dominates the thinking here in Brussels, at what stage will the EU wake up to what they’ve done to Ireland?

In a week also when the Irish Times leads with an article on the fact that the HSE looked for and were denied an extra €100m to deal with what even the blindest can surely see has now become a major emergency, where was its headline decrying the fact that this government had just destroyed €500m, the first of the Promissory Note bonds from the shameful Michael Noonan deal of February last year? Where was the headline in ANY newspaper, in fact, where was the headline from RTE, or from any other of our national news outlets?

Where are the headlines decrying the fact that this destruction of €500m, on which we are now paying interest and the entirety of which – all €500m – the new bondholder will come calling to collect in ten or 20 years’ time, or whenever it is that the this new bond falls due, is just the first such mass destruction of hundreds of millions of euro?

Where are the headlines decrying the fact that even as people suffer the misery and pain inflicted on them by their own well-fed government, suffer even death by their own hands when they can no longer deal with that misery, that pain, between here and 2032 our Central Bank is scheduled to destroy a further €27,500m of OUR money (that’s right, twenty seven thousand five hundred MILLION euro), on all of which we will pay interest, all of which will have to be repaid then in full by 2053?

Where are the headlines? Why the media silence on this ongoing massive price being paid for the bailout of the failed creditors of Anglo Irish Bank? €500m was destroyed on the eve of Christmas Eve, without a word, another €27,500m sitting in the Central Bank awaiting destruction, every cent of which we will then have to repay PLUS interest; why are our major media commentators – almost every single one of them – feeding us the line that the bank-debt issue is all over, too late to do anything more about it? Why are they not calling for the destruction of those bonds, a legacy of bailing out the euro and the Eurozone banks, keeping alive two already-zombie Irish banks SPECIFICALLY for that purpose? Why, at the very least and as a matter of urgency, are they not calling for immediate negotiations with the ECB and the EU on those Promissory Note bonds?

Look at the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) – even Germany and France are among the 11 countries in Europe that have signed up to this proposed tax on only a few of the most toxic transactions that brought the world financial system to its knees, yet Ireland has so far refused to support this, turning down the opportunity to raise hundreds of millions for the Irish economy just to protect the interests of a greedy few in the IFSC.

In spite of this silence though, the last couple of months has seen an awakening among the people of Ireland. The Water Charge was the final catalyst and I hope they now maintain that campaign and bring down not just that transparent attempt at privatisation of what is a public resource, a public right, but bring down also the government that has brought this country to this sorry situation.

In the meantime, and working in cooperation with like-minded MEPs, I will be doing my damnedest here in Brussels to bring the truth of what’s been done to Ireland in the name of the EU out into the open.