European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says bank deal ‘not retroactive’

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has bluntly ruled out the possibility that recent decisions taken by EU leaders will assist Ireland’s campaign on reducing legacy bank debt. Mr Barroso said the agreement secured by finance ministers earlier this week on a banking union, and confirmed by EU leaders last night, was “for the future” and was “not retroactive”.

In outspoken remarks after the first day of an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, Mr Barroso also contended that the euro was the victim of irresponsible practices in Ireland’s financial sector. The agreement reached this week on a banking union enshrines the principle that the banking industry, rather than the taxpayer, should pay in the event of a bank going bust. Taoiseach Enda Kenny contended yesterday that the deal represented “good progress” for Ireland’s long-running campaign for a deal on legacy bank debt. However, Mr Barroso has dismissed such a suggestion.

He said it would be wrong to give the impression that Europe has created a problem for Ireland and that therefore Europe now has to help. He said it was the Irish banking sector which caused one of the biggest problems in the world and that responsibility at that time lay with Irish authorities according to RTE News.