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Sinn Féin was right to call for burning of bondholders - Fine Gael, Labour & Fianna Fáil got it wrong: Doherty

24 January, 2014 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD today reiterated that his party was correct in calling for the burning of bank bondholders at the time of the banking crisis and called on the public to remember which party best represented their interests when decisions were made about paying billions to bondholders.

Doherty made his comments in light of news reports that the German Bundesbank had also believed that Irish bank bondholders should be burned. The Sinn Féin TD said Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil had betrayed the Irish public by wrongfully paying these bondholders billions of taxpayers' euros and were not the parties to rebuild the Irish economy.

Deputy Doherty said:

"At the time of the banking crisis Sinn Féin said unequivocally that bondholders in Irish banks had to be burned. This was the historical norm of how failing banks are dealt with. But Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour lined up to say that Sinn Féin was wrong and then proceeded, between them, to pay these bondholders €65 billion and establish NAMA at a cost of a further €30 billion. Irish taxpayers have been paying for that policy ever since with over €30 billion of austerity budgets. The State's debt has ballooned, our public services have been decimated, hundreds of thousands have emigrated and families are on the poverty line, all as a result of these three parties’ pig-headed and treacherous agenda.

"We learn today that as well as the IMF and other leading international agencies, banks and economists, the German Bundesbank believed Irish bank bondholders should have be burned. This turns on its head the Irish Government's narrative that every powerful body in Europe wanted these bondholders paid out. The ECB may have had one position, but the combined weight and support of the IMF, Bundesbank and countless European leaders - who we know all believe that in the future bondholders should be burned - would have supported the Government against the ECB.

"Fine Gael and Labour knew the Irish people did not want the bondholders paid when they ran for election in early 2011 - but one of their first moves in Government, after their 'not a red cent more' comments, was to bail out bondholders. They betrayed the Irish people. We have always known in Sinn Féin that our position was correct and I am asking the Irish people to remember that we are the only party standing up for and representing their interests. Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil are not the parties to rebuild the Irish economy - they are the parties that wrecked it in the first place."

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