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Merkel and Sarkozy 'allowed to hijack' eurozone policy-making, says Anglo chairman

Alan Dukes, chairman of the bank formerly known as Anglo, also said Enda was ‘unwise’ with some pre-election promises.

Image: Michel Euler/AP/Press Association Images

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE bank formerly known as Anglo has accused EU leaders of allowing Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy to “hijack” eurozone policy-making and says governments need to do much more to tackle the eurozone crisis.

Speaking to RTÉ’s This Week today, Alan Dukes also said that the government has a good prospect of securing alleviation on the promissory notes, but that this “must be seen in the context of a wider action” in the eurozone generally.

Dukes suggested that the Irish government could be successful in renegotiating the terms of its bailout agreement, and that more work needs to be done on this issue.

The former minister said that fiscal policy alone would not be enough to resolve the eurozone crisis.

Dukes said that while fiscal restraint is needed, he does not believe the new EU fiscal compact will be enough to solve the problem. He said the fiscal compact could act as “mood music” to encourage both Germany and the ECB to do more to resolve the issues in question.

Dukes also criticised Eurozone members for allowing Merkel and Sarkozy to “hijack” policy-making in this area.

They had both stepped into a power vacuum in the eurozone, and have “been allowed to go much too far because other people have been too preoccupied with their domestic issues”.

Dukes also suggested that Enda Kenny was “unwise” in promising more economically than is possible in the short-term ahead of last year’s general election. He added that “a lot of the rhetoric leading up to the election about the whole financial situation was rather unreal on both sides – both the outgoing government and the outgoing opposition”.

Asked about repaying Anglo’s bondholders, he said that “as a bank in wind-down, we have to act in accordance with contract law and government policy as it is”. “That’s all I can say about that,” he added, but acknowledged that many people would like to see more being done “to alleviate the burden that all of that stupidity in banking has placed on us.”

“But in order to get that done, my belief is that we need a much stronger framework of eurozone action” to deal with the wider problem, he said.

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