Friday, January 25 10:57:07
Ireland got a "raw deal" from the Troika for its bailout and was treated unfairly, billionaire investor and philanthropist, George Soros, said today.
Speaking to RTE Radio One in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Soros said Iceland had fared better with its banking troubles.
"If you compare the fate of Ireland with the fate of Iceland, Iceland is actually flourishing, although it had a bigger banking crisis than ireland in relation to its population, because it simply did not accept the liabilities of the banks," he said. "But Ireland was not so lucky."
He said the "minimum" of demands on Irish debt would probably be met.
Mr Soros added that the "euro is here to stay" but warned that complacency about the future of the 17-country currency is misplaced because its fundamental problems have not been fixed.
While the European Central Bank last year managed to halt market turmoil that threatened to break up the euro, its fundamental imbalances "have been papered over," Soros told journalists at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He said the currency's government debt crisis has split it into creditor countries such as Germany and debtors such as Greece, with the creditors in charge and demanding what Soros calls misguided austerity - cutbacks in spending to reduce deficits.
He said the policy of cutbacks for indebted countries advocated by Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel "is just simply counterproductive" and "is pushing the entire eurozone into recession." (By Joe O'Connor)