Anglo Irish Bank scandal: Irish call Germans to say sorry

Ronnie Corbett

Irish people rang the German Embassy in Dublin to apologise over the behaviour of Anglo Irish bankers who made jokes on tape about getting billions of euros from the Federal Republic to rescue their debt-ridden bank.

The German ambassador to Ireland Dr Eckhard Lübkemeier revealed that in the wake of the recent Anglo Irish Bank tapes his embassy staff received calls from ordinary Irish citizens saying sorry over the way the bankers mocked the Germans and sang their national anthem while celebrating the bank's rescue.

Dr Lübkemeier told RTE radio on Wednesday morning: "We got a considerable number of emails and calls expressing sympathy with us, with Germany and the German people.

"After these conversations were published, we were reassured … that they were in no way indicative of the views of the Irish people.

"It will not affect German Irish friendship, and the bonds of affection that are in place between the Irish and the German people."

The contents of the 'Anglo Tapes', which were obtained by the Irish Independent, caused outrage in Germany after it emerged that Anglo executives sang the German national anthem as deposits from the Federal Republic flowed into Anglo as a result of the bank guarantee in late 2008.

Lübkemeier said the attitudes as expressed on the tapes is "indicative of the attitudes of bankers in other countries".

"It shows what went wrong in the first place, the banking sector got 'decoupled' from the real economy.

"We are now left with the legacy," he said.

"We are still trying to cope with the problems … caused by this hubris in the banking sector."

Powered by article was written by Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent, for on Wednesday 17th July 2013 13.27 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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