In July last year, this government and its predecessor having failed miserably to negotiate with the ECB a single cent of either writedown or interest relief on the bank debt, a break on the interest payments fell into our laps, a by-product of the Greek bailout. Hasn't stopped this government from claiming - shamelessly and blatantly dishonestly - that they 'secured' the subsequent savings.
This week, having since then failed miserably to negotiate with the ECB a single cent of either writedown or interest relief on the bank debt, the Irish government is 'watching carefully' as Spain's negotiators look like securing a deal which will see the Spanish banks bailed out directly from the ESM rather than through government, as was done to us; if that happens our government has hopes that a similar deal will be gifted to Ireland, to be applied retrospectively. They will then of course again claim - shamelessly and blatantly dishonestly - that they 'secured' the subsequent savings.
What are those savings? What it amounts to is this; IF there's a deal done and IF it's applied retrospectively, the government will be able to take the bank-debt element from its gross government debt, transfer it to the banks and VOILA! Just like that, as the great Tommy Cooper used to say, over €40bn of debt is magicked away.
But of course it will still be there, every dishonest red cent of it. All our remaining five banks will continue to pay out the failed bonds, every cent of the principal AND of the coupon; the remaining Promissory Notes will all still have to be paid, in full. So it is that the next dozen bonds (see below) WILL be paid, a total of €1.53bn in totally unsecured bonds, an additional €925m in 'covered' bonds, a grand total of €2.46bn sucked from the Irish banks and by extension from the already banjaxed Irish econony over the next six weeks.
After 66 weeks of marching locally, we in the Ballyhea and Charleville protest group have had enough. Our officials don't negotiate, they beg, and in the process have beggared this country. This week we're going to Frankfurt, a dozen representatives from the protest reinforced by several others from the Anglo Not Our Debt group. We will not be begging; we will be demanding that which is our basic right - justice and fair play. Our intention is to hand in a list of our demands to Mr Draghi of the ECB, and to spend June 6th protesting - peacefully and with dignity, as is our practice - outside the ECB building. We wouldn't say no to a bit of support, from home and from Europe.