Eurozone agreement will unshackle us from banking debts

The overnight EU summit agreement constitutes a significant step towards resolution of the Irish and European sovereign debt crisis. The effect of this agreement will be to unshackle massive banking debts from sovereign liability – an essential ingredient for recovery.

Ireland’s 2008 bank guarantee can never be fully reversed. However, this represents a real and singificant step towards lifting much of the grossly unjust burden the guarantee placed on the Irish people. The Taoiseach and the Tanaiste must be warmly congratulated on what they have achieved today.

Like many others, I have long believed that a single supervisory regime for eurozone banks is an essential condition for addressing the banking crisis, and for guarding against future collapses. I welcome the fact that this has now been agreed, and that such a supervisory body is to be put in place as a priority objective, and quickly.

The other essential ingredient for recovery is a sustainable growth strategy. We can bring forward a stimulus strategy ourselves, and I fully expect the government to do so. But given the level of integration and inter-dependence that now exists in Europe, only an EU-wide growth strategy can succeed. I look forward to further announcements today from the summit.