‘Ransom note’: Ireland bailout boosts banks, enrages taxpayers

WHAT: A bailout agreement was reached to save Ireland’s dire financial state, but while it boosted bank stocks, it outraged many hard-pressed taxpayers, who questioned why the government’s pension reserves must be ravaged as part of a deal that burdens the whole country with the mistakes of the rich elite. “This is not a rescue plan. It is the longest ransom note in history: Do what we tell you and you may, in time, get your country back,” said Fintan O’Toole, a commentator and author.

HOW: Many are shocked by a key condition of the rescue, that the government must use $22.9 billion of its own cash and pension reserves to shore up its public finances. Economists warned that the EU-IMF credit line’s average interest rate of 5.8 percent would be too high to repay. They also questioned why senior bondholders of Ireland’s struggling banks — chiefly other banks in Britain, Germany and the U.S. — still were not being asked to bear some costs.

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