Saturday’s anti-debt rallies to go ahead

(Updated 2.30pm, Thursday 7th February 2013)

This Saturday’s (9th February) rallies against bank debt are going ahead as planned, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has confirmed.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Congress general secretary David Begg said: “The key fact remains that 1.8 million working people cannot possibly sustain a bank debt burden of €64 billion. Saturday is an opportunity for us to tell the European authorities that the debt is not morally down to the people of Ireland.”

The limited deal being mooted today would not reduce the huge level of European bank debt that the Irish people – and their children and grandchildren – have to pay. Rather it would restructure the repayments of Ireland’s €64 billion bill by spreading the payments over a longer period.

Ireland has borne over 42% of the cost of the European bank debt crisis. Every Irish citizen has so far paid €9,000. The average per capita cost across 27 member states is less than €200.

ICTU acknowledged that restructuring the promissory note could improve Ireland’s creditworthiness and ease its repayments in the short term. But it said our debt to GDP ratio would still reach 120% next year. “The promissory note is only one element of the bank debt problem. The other key element is the necessity to implement the European Council agreement, of 29th June 2012, on allowing the European Stability Mechanism to recapitalise banks,” said Mr Begg.

“At the onset of the crisis Ireland had one of the lowest debt to GDP ratios in Europe. The significant difference between then and now is due entirely to Ireland socialising bank debt, at the behest of the ECB, to save the European banking system,” he said.

Join Saturday’s rallies in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford. Get the details HERE.

Find out why people like you are attending Saturday’s rallies HERE.

Find out how much you’re paying for Anglo-Irish and other bank debts HERE.

Pledge your support for the campaign and have your say HERE.

Get more information HERE