Saturday, 1 September 2012

No plans to release ECB letters despite newspaper report

THE DEPARTMENT OF Finance has said there are no plans to release the letters that European Central Bank sent to former finance minister Brian Lenihan in the build-up to Ireland applying for a bailout in 2010.
It follows publication of a story in the Irish Times today in which political correspondent Stephen Collins indicates that the paper has seen the letters that were sent by the then president of the ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, to the late Lenihan.
The letters have been the subject of much talk in the past week after the Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the Sunday Independent that a letter sent by Trichet in November 2010 should be released.
Noonan said last Sunday that the “very direct” letter left Lenihan with “little or no option” but to begin negotiations on a bailout in November 2010 but said that it was not within his authority to order their release.
He said that the matter was one for the Freedom of Information unit which has so far declined to release the letter to and numerous other media organisations.
Fianna Fáil, the party in government at the time of the bailout, has reiterated its call for details of correspondence between the Department of Finance and the ECB in the lead up to the bailout to be released to the public.

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