Brian Hayes MEP

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Hayes suggests Oireachtas Finance Committee hearing with Draghi

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Hayes suggests Oireachtas Finance Committee hearing with Draghi

Following Mario Draghi’s appearance at various Eurozone national parliaments, Brian Hayes MEP has suggested that an Oireachtas Finance Committee hearing with President Draghi would be very beneficial for Irish lawmakers.

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“President Draghi has now appeared before the Parliaments of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Finland and Netherlands. It is expected that he will appear before the Cypriot Parliament very soon. Given the ECB’s engagement with other national parliaments, there is now a good opportunity for the ECB to engage with the Oireachtas. Ireland has been a member of the Eurozone since the euro was first introduced in 1999 and we remain firmly committed to the single currency.

“I have written to John McGuinness TD, Chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, suggesting that an invitation might be extended to President Draghi to appear before the Committee. The Oireachtas Finance Committee is the obvious committee to have a forward looking engagement and discussion with the ECB.

“This is obviously a decision for the Committee itself to make but as an MEP on the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, I would do everything possible to encourage President Draghi to attend if he was invited. President Draghi regularly appears before the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament where I have an opportunity to question him about such issues.

“There are enormous policy issues that Irish politicians need to debate with the ECB, given the significance of monetary policy in the Eurozone system at the moment. The ECB has adopted many conventional and non-conventional policy measures during and after the crisis such as adjustments to its main refinancing rate, targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) and of course, the Asset Purchase Programme (commonly known as Quantitative Easing) of private and public sector debt.

“We should not underestimate the major impact that QE and other ECB policies can have on our domestic economy. We should also remember that Ireland is the fastest growing country in the Eurozone and the ECB’s policies are conducted on the basis of a struggling Eurozone economy. We have to question whether ECB policy should now be aligning itself more with a positive growth agenda.

“Whatever about the work of the Banking Inquiry in the last Dáil and some of the legacy issues surrounding the Irish Bailout, which have been debated at some length, the primary concern now is how the Eurozone goes forward and how the role of the ECB and the Single Supervisory Mechanism might evolve.

“The ECB should engage, wherever possible, with all Eurozone Member States, big and small, on the monetary policy decisions it has taken. The independence of the ECB is not in question, but discussion and debate on the future of the Eurozone economy is very much warranted.”

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