!!!!!!!!!!! How much has Ireland paid for the EU banking crisis?

Ireland has been declared a ‘special case’ by Angela Merkel – and these figures show exactly why, writes Michael Taft

source: The Journal.ie
Thanks to V!

WITH CONSIDERABLE speculation about an impending deal on bank debt, with the Taoiseach and the German Chancellor jointly stating that Ireland is a ‘special case’, it is helpful to remind ourselves just how special a case we are.

Eurostat, the EU Commission’s data agency, has calculated the cost of the banking crisis in each EU country.   The following focuses on the cost to general government budgets.  Ireland has really taken one for Team EU.


Yes, there’s wee Ireland up at the top, just edging out Germany for the dubious title of spending the most on the banking crisis.  €41 billion to date according to the Eurostat accounting data (this doesn’t count the billions ploughed into the covered banks from our National Pension Reserve Fund as this was not counted as a ‘cost’ to the General Government budget).

Of course, this doesn’t give the best picture.  What happens when we look at the cost as a percentage of GDP?


Ireland may not win football’s European Championship but when it comes to banking debt we are Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United all rolled into one with Real Madrid for a bench.  Germany may have run Ireland close in the nominal amount of banking debt but when it comes to a proportion of GDP, it is just pennies behind their sofa. For Ireland, it’s the entire house.

Here’s another little stat to chew on.  The European banking crisis is just that – a European crisis.  But as we know, this has not been addressed at the European level.  Rather, the cost has been delegated to individual countries regardless of their size or ability to pay.  For instance:

  • Ireland makes up 0.9 percent of the EU population
  • The Irish economy makes up 1.2 percent of EU GDP

Ok, we’re small.  So how much of the entire European banking debt have we paid?

  • The Irish people have paid 42 percent of the total  cost of the European banking crisis

We may be minnows when it comes to population and economic size, but when it comes to banking debt we are the whale in the pond.

One more breakdown.  How much have countries paid per capita?


The European banking crisis to date has cost every individual in Ireland nearly €9,000 each.  The average throughout the EU is €192 per capita.  I really don’t know what you can say after that.

So, Ireland is a really, really special case.  We require a really, really special solution.  The Government (and we must always remember that this mess wasn’t created on their watch) has a real challenge in the negotiations over bank debt.  But there is a bottom-line here.

If any deal does not qualitatively alter these dismal statistics, then it won’t be a deal worth applauding.  The Government may be tempted to return to the Irish people waving a sheet of paper claiming ‘a bank debt deal for our time’.

But if are still paying nearly €9,000 each while the remainder of the EU pays only a fraction of that, then it is no deal at all; just a re-arranging of euro notes – a lot of euro notes – on the decks of a sunken ship.

Michael Taft is Research Officer with UNITE the Union; author of the political economy blog Notes on the Front where this article originally appeared; and a member of the TASC Economists Network.

Read more articles by Michael Taft here>

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13 Responses to !!!!!!!!!!! How much has Ireland paid for the EU banking crisis?

  1. Ronnie says:

    I remember seeing a show on TV awhile back and the subject was Ireland and the economy there. The show surprised me in that they were talking about how prosperous they were and how great their economy was – particularly in software and technology. There were lots of job opportunities, home sales though rose quite a bit., etc., etc. How quickly things have turned. I think that is one good reason for them to say enough is enough!!! So now Ireland has to pay more than it’s share. Hey, the cabal can’t have a country prosper. They have to keep you down.

  2. Latest news from Ireland is that our Zionist Minister for Defence Alan Shatter is going to send Irish troops to “help” Mali. http://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/22741 . An Phoblacht is a Republican newspaper which is said to represent the views of the IRA and as someone who never liked any terrorist organisations, it is sad when they are the ones reporting nearer to the truth than the mainstream media like the Irish Times piece here http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2013/0214/1224330013456.html

    • Kanjo says:

      You need to have been following the Mali situation from the start. At first I thought maybe the occupiers might be an improvement, but it is not freedom which they seek. They are truly terrorists and I’m proud that Ireland is helping the initiative which is protecting the people of Mali.

  3. J. c says:

    I suppose this is what happens when those in charge of Europe do not like the results of a referendum or two ?

    “You are free, to do what we tell you!” -Bill Hicks

  4. johnf says:

    Sounds like what our president is doing here.

  5. Pingback: Ireland Has Been Declared A ‘Special Case’ By Angela Merkel – And These Figures Show Exactly Why, Writes Michael Taft – 14 February 2013 | Lucas 2012 Infos


  7. I live in Ireland. The reality is that things here are steadily getting worse economically while our negligent politicians remain detached from reality. Massive unemployment, small businesses falling daily and the media keep trying to paint the picture of us being past the worst of this financial mess. The deal last week with the EU to exchange the bankers promissory notes for government bonds helped the short term cash flow by reducing our repayments but it was just like changing our five year bank loan (unsecured promissory note) to a 30 year mortgage (government bond secured by the people of Ireland). Yippie my kids and grand kids will be paying off this loan! Here is a link to the BBC website where they have an interactive map that shows you how much each country owes. Click on each country name on the map to see their debts. We in Ireland only owe the Banksters €390,000 per person ($522,000)
    We Need Our Government To Talk To The Icelandic Government.

  8. JJohn says:

    Would that mean that Belgium, Greece, France have BENEFITED from the crisis (1st Graph)?
    Looking at Greece, now… just wondering in what shape the countries at the negative side of the chart!
    Yihhooo… Vive La EURO 🙂

    • elenits says:

      Greece didn’t benefit from the 2008 crisis. But Greece did not have a banking problem, it has overwhelming state debt. Greek banks are based on shipping, and very conservative. Therefore they were more or less unscathed by subprime etc.

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