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Government must fight for historic recapitalisation of banks - Doherty

4 December, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has responded to the news that Bank of Ireland is to pay-back €1.8 billion in preference shares to the state before the end March of next year by saying that it would be better if the Government fought for historic recapitalisation.

Speaking from Leinster House, Deputy Doherty said:

“It is positive that there is any recuperation of money that this state put into Bank of Ireland. It is important to note however that the bank is paying this money early to avoid a further 25% payment to taxpayers if this transaction happened after 31st March next year.

“It’s clear the Government strategy is to recoup the current value of state shareholdings in the banks, worth approximately €11 billion. This is a far cry from the €65 billion that has been pumped into the banks to keep them alive.

“It has been our consistent view government needs to pursue historic recapitalisation of these banks with more vigour and attain the maximum benefit for Ireland. Selling shares is the easy option. Fighting for recapitalisation is a better position.

“We also need to be mindful that this is not just about getting back the money that was put in. The consequences of the banking policy meant being forced from the bond markets, a loss of our economic sovereignty, entering a Troika programme and years of austerity and mass emigration.

“I also repeat my calls made in leaders’ questions yesterday, that, following the Central Bank’s assessment of the banks’ balance sheets we now need comprehensive information of what state the banks are in. It’s unacceptable that the Central Bank has still not made a statement on this issue. We need full disclosure, particularly in relation to the health of the state-sponsored banks.”

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