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Richard Moross via FT

Department of Finance writes to FT over 'Lazarus' article

A press officer insists that the FT got its facts wrong about deposits in Irish banks and misled over Anglo.

A PRESS OFFICER from the Department of Finance has written to the Financial Times newspaper to complain about an article it published earlier this week.

Monday’s FT carried a piece entitled ‘No Irish Lazarus‘ in which it said the government was attempting to bring Anglo Irish Bank ‘back from the dead’, and said the plan to split the bank into funding and recovery banks looked like “another round of three-card monty”.

It also criticised the government’s inability to commit to a firm amount of how much the total bailout would cost; saying it was forcing the taxpayer to “protect bondholders from their own folly”.

It also put the total amount of deposits being covered by the bank guarantee at €776bn.

This morning, the FT published a brief response from Eoin Dorgan of the Department of Finance press office:

Sir, Your leading article (“No Irish Lazarus”, September 13) claimed the Irish government was trying to bring its most distressed bank, Anglo Irish Bank, “Lazarus-like” back to life.

This is not in accordance with the facts. Last week, the government decided that Anglo Irish Bank’s loan book will be worked out over time in an asset recovery bank.

Also, the balance sheet of the six domestically owned banks is €523bn at end June 2010, not €776bn as stated in the article.

Eoin Dorgan,

Press Officer, Department of Finance, Dublin, Ireland

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