Thursday, 23 August 2012


On Sunday last the noted economist Colm McCarthy had an article in the Sunday Independent in which he suggested the Irish government should sue the ECB for the money we have been forced into sinking into our banks.

On Sunday last also, week 77 of our on-going protest against those actions by the ECB, the Ballyhea/Charleville regular Sunday morning march took place but with a twist – a few of us who couldn't be in Charleville instead held a simultaneous march in Dublin.

                The Charleville Brigade                                      The Dublin Branch

With due respect to the man, Colm was merely stating the obvious. In fact, not alone did the ECB exceed its remit in what was done to Ireland, it went beyond the bounds of the law – blackmail and extortion, which is what has been happening on an on-going basis to us since the ECB became involved in our finances, is illegal in any civilised jurisdiction, and has been for millennia.

Of course, then, we should sue the ECB, that’s without question; there IS a question, however – for how much? ‘Somewhere north of €20bn’ is the estimate Colm put on it on the excellent Tonight With Vincent Browne TV3 show this week – with due respect again Colm, not nearly enough.

Blackmailed by the ECB, we have thus far sunk €69.6bn into our banks, an additional debt burden which in the first instance prompted ‘the markets’ to force us out of the club but an additional debt burden which is now crushing us – the vicious circle between banks and sovereign mentioned in the opening line of the recent hugely significant EZ Leaders’ statement.

Our government must now demand, on our behalf, the return of ALL that money. It can be done as follows: a) Burn all remaining Promissory Notes; b) in a local Quantitative Easing measure, allow our Central Bank to reprint the €6bn already destroyed to satisfy the Promissory Notes of 2011 and 2012; c) through a similar Quantitative Easing measure, allow our Central Bank to print the €21bn plundered from the National Pension Reserve Fund and handed over to the banks and thence to the bank bondholders; d) all bank-related debt to the various ECB funds to be written off; e) all bank-debt-related sums so far paid to the various ECB funds (including interest) to be repaid.

That’s our first fight, that’s Ireland’s fight, but it’s not the end of this war. Even as we’re battling to get back the money that was forced from us we must join forces with all the nations of the EC and do what the EZ Leaders themselves – again going back to that statement – have already agreed, break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns. That, they said, was imperative.

Right across Europe we must work together to break the power of the ECB, to put an end to its odious and failed policy of using public money to bail out failed private banks and their failed private bondholders. This isn’t even a question of forcing those bondholders to suffer their own losses, it’s a question of allowing them suffer those losses. That’s how their own system works, that’s capitalism, that’s commerce. Warning: your investment may fall as well as rise – we’re all familiar with that line, no? What the ECB did in Ireland, what it continues to do, is an attempt to dam the flow of that river. We need to now slowly dismantle that dam, before the whole damned thing bursts and swamps us all.

This Sunday, week 78, march with us, Ballyhea Says No To Bank Bondholder Bailout; meet at Ballyhea church car-park 11.30am, short and dignified protest with neither chant nor slogan.

Regards, Diarmuid O'Flynn.