Presentation on European Crisis Countries
This post was written by Seamus Coffey
Ajai Chopra’s 15-minute presentation on Ireland begins at 31:20 in the recording. The Irish Times have some coverage of the meeting here.
The presentation from Poul Thomsen on the overall roles of the ‘Troika’ in the country programmes is also of interest, including the remark [below the fold] from around 52:50 where he says that:
A key question is will they [Greece, Portugal, Ireland] go back to markets on these timetables.
The key here is, of course, that Europe has underscored, European leaders have emphasised, that Europe stands ready to support these countries for as long as it will take to bring them back to market, provided, of course, there is steady progress under these programmes. That is clearly unprecedented. This is one dimension where membership of a currency union provides exceptional benefit. It is true that memberships means it takes longer but membership means also that there is solidarity that allows you to take a longer time.
In the subsequent Q&A, RTE’s Richard Downes asked Ajai Chopra the following question:
You seem significantly gloomier in your assessment of the Irish position. I wonder what you put that down to, bearing in mind that you have just returned from Dublin?
While Niamh Sweeney of The Irish Times asked:
You mentioned two measures that you are pushing for. One is a change in the way bailouts are structured so that they can engage directly with financial institutions thus breaking that sovereign-banking loop you mentioned. And also you said you were making the case for additional European support that goes beyond the current arrangement. What’s being the response to those requests and is there division on how to proceed between yourselves and other members of the Troika?
The reply from Ajai Chopra can be found at 1:10:20 but doesn’t add a whole lot apart from his rejection of the premise of the first question that he is "significantly gloomier”. He adds some concluding comments on growth at 1:23:10.
As pointed out in the previous thread, Enda Kenny’s speech yesterday to centre-right European parties at Dublin Castle is also relevant, particularly as Ajai Chopra began his presentation by pointing out that the banking crisis was the genesis of the funding problems for Ireland.
The insistence to date that taxpayers in each member state must stand behind the entire liabilities of banks regulated in their jurisdiction has probably been the greatest reversal in the European single market since its foundation.