Speaking from Strasbourg after voting against a decision to continue to put the burden of bank debt on the taxpayers, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said:
“In the aftermath of the financial collapse Billions of Euro were found to rescue the banks and speculators who caused the disaster while funds to put Europe’s 26 million unemployed back to work were miniscule in comparison.
“This proposed banking union absolves the culprits responsible for creating the bubble while providing little protection to the taxpayers from a recurrence and does nothing to stimulate growth or provide opportunities for job creation. It does not do enough to separate banking debt from sovereign debt.
“The enduring mentality among European Bureaucrats that many banks are deemed too big to fail remains a major problem facing the next Parliament. The same people denied that the deregulation of financial markets was a major contributor to the worst financial collapse in living memory.
“Similarly, all the assurances given at the peak of the crisis that strict measures would be taken to ensure that a crisis of this magnitude would not be allowed to recur have failed to materialise. Any reforms have been minimal with insufficient relief from the burden being shouldered by taxpayers.
“The banking union package proposes the creation of a European ‘super central bank’, which will set monetary policy and act as supervisor. The result is that the ECB will be the most powerful non-democratic institution in the world.
“These additional powers will hand control of the entire financial system over to a bunch of un-elected bureaucrats without any political accountability which means they will not be held responsible for any future bank failings.
“This European Banking Union is typical of the “one size fits all” approach to dealing with the economy. What’s best for Germany is not always best for Ireland.
“Sinn Féin has always advocated that the ECB be a Lender of last resort for the Euro (a real ‘back-stop’ for the currency). This would entail increased bond-buying from governments and potentially recapitalising banks directly. While we would support regulation across the EU, what was agreed in Strasbourg would not have prevented the banking crisis and therefore any future crisis, nor will it deal with the key issue of the €65 billion which has been poured into failed Irish banks.”