Irish Republican News · September 7, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Nama ‘legalised corruption’

Sinn Fein has vowed to systematically disrupt the business of the Dublin parliament to prevent passage of the bill setting up the National Assets Management Agency.

The party’s parliamentary representatives and staff gathered in Dublin on Friday to discuss the forthcoming Dail term in what was billed a “think-in”.

Dail leader Caoimhghin O’Caolain describing the contentious Nama plan, to transfer tens of billions of Euros to the banks to cover the recent heavy losses of developers and property speculators as “an attempt to legalise corruption”.

He said ordinary families struggling with cutbacks and job losses “won’t and should not stand for this madness.”

“Fianna Fail wants to pay back reckless developers for decades of corrupt payments and brown envelopes,” he said.

“They must be stopped.

“For 12 years, Fianna Fail presided over one of the most corrupted property bubbles in the world. They have been involved in every major development tribunal before the state. Nama is an attempt to make the taxpayer carry the cost of that corruption.”

Under immense pressure over the plan, Fianna Fail appeared set to water down the extraordinary and unprecedented scale of the 90 billion Euro scheme.

Their coalition partners in the Green Party have meanwhile moved to portray themselves as Fianna Fail’s “watchdogs”, filling the role vacated by the now disbanded Progressive Democrats.

The two embattled Green Party ministers, facing an upcoming vote of their own membership on the matter as well as the lingering threat of an election, have insisted that the Bill establishing the assets agency must include: a windfall tax on property developers and an “iron-clad” but unspecified “risk-sharing mechanism” to compensate the taxpayer for overpaying for the property assets.

The party’s members will meet in Athlone next Saturday to discuss the legislation. The meeting of the 26-COunty cabinet on Wednesday is seen as crucial in determining the proposed solution to the banking crisis.

“Our Fianna Fail colleagues will have to stop their humming and hawing. The Green Ministers must be able to go back to our members with the message that we won’t see a new property bubble or speculators benefiting in any way,” Mr Gormley said.

A second draft of the Nama legislation, incorporating greater risk-sharing between the taxpayer and bank shareholders, is expected to be published this week, in advance of the special Green Party meeting.

The publication of the second draft is in response to concerns that the Green leadership will not receive the backing of their party’s membership for Nama. A ban on political donations from big business will also be touted as part of a planned new programme for government between the Greens and Fianna Fail in order to assuage the Green Party membership.

“It is clear that the most appropriate solution to the banking crisis is nationalising the banks of systematic importance,” said Mr O Caolian.

“The most appropriate response to the overall economic crisis is stimulating the economy, not further depressing it through cutbacks as proposed in the McCarthy report.

“It is time to give the people their say. It is time for change. It is time for a general election”.

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© 2009 Irish Republican News