Ireland continues to pay the price of a Troika shrouded in secrecy, says Independent MEP Nessa Childers

The workings of the Troika remain shrouded in secrecy and its ad hoc nature continues to cause a host of social problems for Ireland, MEP Nessa Childers warned today as representatives meet in Strasbourg to examine the role of the consortium.

‘The lack of accountability and transparency surrounding the Troika quite rightly continues to sit uneasily with the Irish people,’ Ms Childers said.

‘After all, three years ago lots of well-paid commissioners were sanctioned to meddle in Irish economic affairs – and they simply didn’t then and don’t now have the best interests of ordinary, hard-working people at heart.

‘Their focus is only cost-cutting – achieved by any means.’

On Thursday, officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – the Troika – arrive in Dublin.  The group says it plans to meet with politicians, trade unions and social groups in order to properly review the austerity measures it implemented in Ireland.

‘As the €3.75billion sale of debt bonds showed last week, the markets agree that Ireland is looking gradually more stable,’ Ms Childers admitted today from Strasbourg, where she is attending key parts of the hearing.

‘But let’s not ignore the lingering presence of the Troika in the shady role of observer – something that is simply not good for our country.’

She added: ‘We may have exited the EU-IMF bailout programme – but we haven’t yet been released from our economic shackles. Spiralling youth unemployment and the gap between rich and poor is proof positive of that.’

Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank, is up this afternoon to answer members’ questions on the economic policies instigated in Greece, Portugal and Cyprus, as well as Ireland. Yesterday evening Monetary Affairs commissioner Olli Rehn made his appearance, while tomorrow Klaus Regling, the EU’s Stability Mechanism director, is in attendance.

Two MEPs – Othmar Karas of Austria and France’s Liem Hoang Ngoc – have been tasked with examining the work of the Troika in Europe’s problem countries.

European officials already visited Portugal and Cyprus last week. And following the Ireland stopover on Thursday and Friday, the delegation then moves to Greece, which currently holds the EU presidency, on January 29 and 30.

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