Merkel up in arms over condescension of irish bankers

Merkel up in arms over condescension of irish bankers

She had "nothing but contempt" for it, she said in brussel, and went on to make a sweeping attack on the entire industry: "I can only say that the tone seems to be the same throughout the banks."

The respected newspaper "irish independent" had been leaked audio documents, which it published earlier this week. It shows that at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the top management of anglo irish bank lied to the government in dublin about the true extent of the crisis at the bank. Even more devastating was the tone of the bankers.

In one sequence, bank manager john bowe sings the first verse of the deutschlandlied in bad german: "deutschland, deutschland uber alles"…" – a mockery of german investors’ money at the bank. David drumm, then head of the bank and who had since moved to the u.S., burst out laughing. The scorn undoubtedly came despite full awareness that the bank had just gambled away billions of investors and taxpayers in the irish real estate bubble.

"We will pay back the money when we have it"… So never", it says at one point.

A large part of the money, including that from german investors, probably only flowed to ireland because the irish government at the time, under prime minister brian cowen, had given a default guarantee and approved a financial injection of over seven billion euros. Internationally, the deposit guarantee was later described as cowen’s stupidity. Seven-billion-euro aid was insufficient anyway, recordings show. The number had nothing to do with reality, he had "pulled it out of his ass", said bank manager bowe according to the report.

Merkel considers the proceedings in ireland a "real damage to democracy, the social market economy and everything we work for". The affair also made waves in ireland. "I agree with what the chancellor said," said ireland’s prime minister enda kenny. "The bands are a thunderclap. " They showed the arrogance and contempt of the actors acting at that time. "This has damaged our image."His deputy and eam minister eamon gilmore wants to have the affair investigated in parliament.

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