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Angela Merkel: I regard the Anglo Tapes with contempt

The German chancellor was asked about the controversial recordings of former Anglo Irish Bank executives in Brussels last night.

Image: Markus Schreiber/AP/Press Association Images

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA Merkel has said she regards the recordings of Anglo Irish bankers laughing and jokingly singing the old Nazi version of the German national anthem with “contempt” in her first comments about the controversial tapes.

Responding to a question about the Anglo Tapes published by the Irish Independent this week Merkel said that the recordings were damaging to EU leaders’ attempts to convince people that it is right to pay taxes and work hard for the greater good.

In the recordings released this week the bank’s former head of capital markets, John Bowe, is heard jokingly singing ‘Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles’ to the bank’s chief executive David Drumm as they discuss the State bailout and eventual over all guarantee of the bank.

Merkel said she had “nothing but contempt” for the tapes in comments to the media in Brussels last night saying they are “a real damage” to democracy, social market economy and “everything we work for”.

“That’s why it’s an incredible challenge for us to convince people who get up every morning to do their work, who always pay taxes, who show solidarity with others who are weaker.

It is damaging and this is why I regard this with contempt.”

Merkel’s response comes after several German media outlets picked up on the Anglo Tapes controversy with its most popular tabloid, Bild, running the story on their frontpage.

In another paper, Frankfurter Allgemeine,  a writer said that “arrogant brat” former Anglo employees, its donors (shareholders, bondholders and depositors), Irish government officials and the European authorities should be put in a sack and beaten with a stick.

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Flashback: ‘Becoming complacent is my only worry’ – David Drumm’s 2005 take on Anglo

Read: Here’s how the world has covered the Anglo Tapes

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Hugh O'Connell

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