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Trichet: I won’t appear before banking inquiry – it’s not my responsibility

The former head of the ECB also said the Irish government made a decision on the bank guarantee without any consultation with the bank or other countries.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE FORMER HEAD of the European Central Bank, Jean Claude Trichet, has said he will not be appearing before the Oireachtas banking inquiry.

Trichet said his decision not to speak before the inquiry was based on rules in the ECB’s constitution.

“If the rule was changed, I would apply the new rule,” he told Newstalk’s Shona Murray. “All decisions are taken collectively by all members and the responsibility of explaining decisions are in the hands of the national governors.”

The former ECB president, who opposed the idea of burning Anglo bondholders, also said the decision on the bank guarantee was taken “by the Irish government alone without any consideration” either with the European Central Bank or other countries.

Also speaking to Newstalk this morning, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said that while the ECB is independent, “it’s not unaccountable and that’s very important”.

Trichet said that any letters sent by the ECB to Ireland around the time of the banking collapse are the property of the Irish government and it is up to them to release them. Several requests have been made for a 2010 letter sent to then Finance Minister Brian Lenihan about the bailout to be published but the ECB has always refused.

Read: Here are the TDs and Senators who are likely to sit on the banking inquiry>

Read: 5 key issues facing the banking inquiry before it even starts>

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