Debt Justice Action has launched a campaign to freeze the remaining €25 billion of ‘Anglo bonds’. The campaign is launched in the wake of the so called ‘Anglo tapes’, which reveal how Anglo executives misled the government before the issuing of the 2008 bank guarantee. The people of Ireland must not be held responsible for this criminal debt, and charges must be brought immediately against those who defrauded the state. The Anglo bonds must not be traded.
To mark the launch of the campaign, ‘Forensic scientists’, dressed in CSI-style examination suits cordoned off the Central Bank behind tape that read “Crime Scene – Do Not Enter”, and carried out an inspection of the evidence of financial crimes as a result of the socialisation of the Anglo debt.
Nessa Ní Chasaide of the campaign spoke to Vincent Browne about the action:
Since its inception in January 2012, Debt Justice Action has been lobbying the Irish Government to negotiate a full write down of the Anglo Irish Bank / Irish Nationwide Building Society ‘promissory notes’.
Instead of insisting on a write off of the Anglo debt, the Irish government converted the notes into sovereign bonds with a longer repayment period but with no element of cancellation. €25 billion of these bonds are currently held by the Irish Central Bank and are scheduled to be traded on the markets. This ‘deal’ was concluded only hours before a legal challenge to the promissory notes was due to be addressed in the Supreme Court. The government earlier chose to vigorously defend the promissory notes arrangement when the case was heard in the High Court.
Vicky Donnelly of the campaign said:
“The ‘Anglo tapes’ show that the Anglo debts originated on the basis of deliberately misleading information. We question the timing of the release of the tapes and
request that the full content of the tapes be publicly disclosed. We want to know who knew of the content of the tapes which, had they been made public earlier, would have led to massive public pressure to write off the Anglo promissory notes last February. This debt is illegitimate and should be written off now, once and for all.”
The Dept of Finance indicates that “The Central Bank of Ireland will sell the bonds but only where such a sale is not disruptive to financial stability. They have however undertaken that minimum of bonds will be sold in accordance with the following schedule: to end 2014 (€0.5bn), 2015-2018 (€0.5bn p.a.), 2019-2023 (€1bn p.a.), 2024 and after (€2bn p.a.)
Over the last 4 years the government has entirely failed to bring the bankers to justice through the existing criminal system, we now encourage the people of Ireland to submit complaints of suspicion of financial crimes in Anglo to the Gardaí, for example under Section 6(1) of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.