Belfast Telegraph

Further revelations from bank tapes

Fresh revelations in the Anglo-tapes scandal about Brian Cowen's administration shows his party was willing to save the failing bank at any cost, his political opponents claimed.

The former taoiseach's government refused to shut down the Anglo-Irish Bank despite warnings from their external financial advisers, Merrill Lynch, that the institution was a "basket case", the latest batch of recordings published in the Irish Independent showed.

Fine Gael Dail finance committee member Dara Murphy alleged it was further proof of the cosy relationship that existed between Fianna Fail, developers and Anglo Irish.

"While there is no doubt that the entire country has been sickened to its very core at what the Anglo tapes have revealed this week, the reality is that tens of thousands of families are living with a daily reminder of the greed, avarice and utter contempt that was shown to the Irish people in respect of the dealings at Anglo," he said.

"The unholy alliance of Fianna Fail, their developer friends and the greedy bankers who conspired to inflate the property bubble, forced tens of thousands of people to take out mortgages they couldn't afford so that they could buy houses that were massively overpriced. It is these people who are paying the price for the light-touch regulation that flourished under Fianna Fail, leading to this abhorrent behaviour by senior bankers.

"The tapes today confirm what we have suspected all along; that Fianna Fail was firmly wedded to Anglo and was willing to save the bank at any cost."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ramped up pressure on members of the previous coalition government over the bank guarantee and bailout.

Hours after being branded a "political thug" for his allegations of an "axis of collusion" between the former Fianna Fail-led government and Anglo Irish Bank, the Taoiseach added fuel to the fire and repeated the need for a parliamentary inquiry. He agreed with remarks from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who blasted the Anglo chiefs exposed in a series of damning tapes.

Ms Merkel said the tapes were hard to stomach and an insult to people trying to earn an honest living.

Previous recordings outlined how bosses were ordered to go to the Central Bank with "arms swinging" to demand a multi-billion euro taxpayer bailout - or "moolah" - as Anglo was collapsing in 2008. The Taoiseach has said the tapes highlighted the "vulgarity" of the time.

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