Brussels, 8 September 2010
Statement on Irish financial sector
Commission Vice President and Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia takes note of the Irish government announcements on both the proposed extension of the short term guarantee scheme for banks and on the future of Anglo Irish Bank.
The Commission has authorised around €25 billion in emergency state recapitalisations for Anglo Irish (see IP/10/1046) which, obviously, creates distortions of competition. The Commission received a restructuring plan for the bank in late May, which it has been discussing with the Irish government. Vice President Almunia said: "I welcome the clarification by the Irish Finance Minister on what would now be the Irish preferred option regarding Anglo-Irish. I view this new option positively as it would deal better with the distortions of competition. However, a number of important aspects still need to be clarified, and a new notification received, before the Commission is in a position to finalise its assessment and to take a decision."
On the guarantee scheme, the Commission is aware of the situation of the Irish financial sector. Commissioner Almunia understands that it is necessary to continue, for the time being, with Government guarantees also for short-term bank liabilities. He intends to propose a decision to the Commission rapidly after agreeing the necessary modifications to the Irish bank guarantee scheme approved in June and valid until the end of 2010 (see IP/10/854).