Fine Gael on Enda and the Davos remarks. My take to follow

Taoiseach’s comments in Davos:
Here is a direct quote from the Taoiseach in Davos yesterday:
“The extent of personal credit, personal wealth created on credit, was
done between people and banks – a system that spawned greed to a point
where it just went out of control completely with a spectacular
crash.”
The Opposition are trying to criticise the Taoiseach for these
comments, claiming they are in direct contrast to his State of the
Nation address in December. They are not.
Some points:
· The Taoiseach was clearly NOT talking to, or about, the
majority of Irish people in Davos yesterday. In fact he was addressing
a room of financiers, economists and politicians.
· The Taoiseach was referring to the bankers and speculators
who generated the property bubble, with the support and encouragement
of the last Government, which subsequently brought out the economic
crash
· During his State of the Nation address in January, the
Taoiseach spoke DIRECTLY to the Irish people, when he said they were
not to blame for what has gone wrong
· The Taoiseach has consistently shown compassion, empathy and
a deep sense of understanding of the very difficult situation facing
most Irish people.
· We do have a massive debt problem in this country, thanks to
the legacy we have been left to clean up by the previous Fianna Fail
Government. This is why we introduced the Personal Insolvency Bill
this week, to deal directly with this problem.
Follow up comments from the Taoiseach on Prime Time last night
I’ve said that the people here were the victims because in my state of
the nation address, it’s perfectly obvious that what happened to our
country was reckless lending by banks, incompetence by Government and
the essence of greed where people borrowed over and above for
development schemes that became a disaster.
Our people have been the victims of this situation, we’re left with
the circumstance of cleaning this up and explaining the truth of that
scale to our people has resulted in increasing confidence, I know it’s
only a small step, I know it’s very difficult, but the resources
available to Govt will be focussed on jobs and job creation and I do
hope that we can progress the discussions that are now underway about
giving us greater flexibility for those promissory notes. That’s
really where the big advantage and opportunity for Ireland lies, it
will require the support of the 27 and that’s another reason why I’m
here talking to my colleague leaders when I have to opportunity to
speak to them face to face.
Taoiseach on Prime Time last night re fiscal compact, Anglo etc:
Fiscal compact:
We won’t sign off on the agreed text until Monday at the earliest,
there’s another meeting on Friday with the officials from the
countries working on that, but let me say this, austerity cannot be
the central issue for any country. What has to be the central issue
are jobs and growth. That’s why I discussed this with PM Cameron in
Downing Street just a couple of weeks ago. That’s why I discussed it
this morning with the
Finnish PM and the Danish PM and the Chief Executives of companies
that I’ve met, and it’s necessary that we signpost the legislative
process within the EU, to have jobs and growth and careers central to
that.

Will the fiscal compact require a referendum?
I note that the Independent Fiscal Council gave a view the other day
about a referendum or not, I can’t give you a definite answer on this,
though when the test is agreed, I will formally ask the Attorney
General for formal legal advice. On the basis of that advice, if a
referendum has to be held it will be held. If the advice is that it’s
in compliance with our constitution, Bunreacht na hEireann, then it’s
not necessary to hold a
referendum.

Repayment of Anglo Bond:
Were we to default, were we to write that across our brows, you’d have
to close a €16bn deficit in one year. It’s difficult enough to take
out €3.8bn this year, and when I look at the scales here, what is the
better benefit for our country and the better benefit for our country
now is to have the support from the Troika which it has come from
their initiative to renegotiate and provide for Ireland greater
flexibility in
respect of the promissory notes that have been signed off on and that
promissory note as you know requires the Irish citizens to fork out
€3bn for each of the next 10 years. Were we to get the flexibility
that now exists within the EFSF and the ESM that were not available
when that money was borrowed and when those promissory notes were
give, it would be of far greater benefit to our economy, to our
country and to our people. The Troika themselves have taken up this
initiative following Michael Noonan’s
discussions with Mr. Draghi, they say that it’s worth while pursuing,
I’ve explained this to other leaders that we’re not looking for any
debt write down here, we are looking for greater flexibility to meet
all out payments
over a longer period and at a lower interest rate, that’s where the
real benefit and advantage for Ireland lies now.

Comments by the Taoiseach re NTMA bond sale

Tuesday’s bond sale is an indication of a sign of confidence but I
recognise the scale of the challenge and just how far we have to go.
We’re not back in the bond market; we don’t have to be back there
until 2013. We’ve made it clear that there will be tentative dip in
the water now and again. The Treasury Management Agency did that on
Tuesday and was very successful so we will try to whenever they decide
to do the same again.
2014/2015 will be challenging but we expect to meet our target of a
reduction to 3% by 2015. We do not intend to be in a second bailout.