Michael Noonan could have “walked on water across the Liffey” to the recent Fine Gael Árd Fheis. That was the view of one political commentator on RTÉ, following the “miracle” the Finance Minister had performed in relation to the Anglo Irish Bank promissory note, due for payment that day. This opinion was typical of mainstream media interpretation of the “deal” announced by Noonan. In reality, the deal was a mirage, not a miracle.
The ‘Anglo: Not Our Debt’ Campaign has described the proposed deal on deferral of the €3.1 billion ‘promissory note’ payment due on 31st March as likely to create bigger debt problems for people in Ireland in the long run and representing a political blunder by a government that has wasted a chance for an immediate write down of Anglo debt.
On the week of the Equinox, community activists and residents from Dublin 7 and Dublin 12 have organised mock “equinox sacrifices” to “appease the ECB gods”. The campaign is calling for the Anglo "promissory note" payment of €3.1 billion, due on March 31st, to be stopped and urges the government to instead use the money to fund vital public and community-based services that are currently being run down.
On International Women's Day, the women of the Anglo: Not Our Debt Campaign have called for the Anglo debt payment of € 3.1 billion due to be made on March 31st to be stopped. They argue that the debts of the state-owned institutions, Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society, are not the responsibility of women in Ireland, yet women are being hardest hit by its impacts.
Anglo Not Our Debt - Public Meeting & Community Response Forum. Tuesday 21st February at the Harbour Hotel, Galway. 7pm – 9:30pm. All Welcome!
On Valentine’s Day, the Anglo: Not Our Debt campaign has called on the Irish Government to show people in Ireland that it “really cares” by suspending repayments of Anglo Irish Bank's debts.
The campaign group Anglo: Not Our Debt has sharply criticized the EU’s new ‘fiscal treaty’. Campaign spokesperson Marie Moran described the treaty as “akin to someone being advised to keep the doors of their house locked tomorrow while thieves were ransacking it today”. “There is something obscene about insisting a country like Ireland reduce its deficit and debt levels, while at the same time forcing it to repay the debts run up by a private bank like Anglo Irish”, she continued.
The collapse of the Irish economy has come as a particular shock to many people, at home and abroad, because of its seemingly remarkable success in the preceding years, the period of very rapid economic growth that saw the country described as the ‘Celtic Tiger’. However, that era in fact consisted of two distinct phases - the phase before 2001 where growth came from attracting multinational investment, and the phase after 2001 based largely on a property price bubble.
"Irish people are not responsible for this debt. The people who are responsible for this debt are the banks who lent to Anglo, and Anglo itself, and the various regulatory authorities. Irish citizens, Irish civil society, does not bear a moral responsibility for this debt. And that’s a crucial point. And that’s where a lot of the global justice organisations involved in this are coming from."
The campaigning network Debt Justice Action has today dismissed claims from Minister Leo Varadkar that failure to pay the debts of the defunct Anglo Irish Bank would trigger a ‘financial bomb’ in Dublin. Their network’s campaign – Anglo: Not Our Debt – is calling for the suspension of Anglo/INBS repayments as a first step towards renegotiation and write down of this debt.