Madrid/Brussels, 7 March 2014 – The European Central Bank (ECB) has once again come under fire for lack of transparency over the financial crisis, this time from the European Ombudsman who today regretted the decision not to release a letter sent to Ireland’s Finance Minister in November 2010.
The ECB letter, which might reveal pressure on the Irish government to enter the EU’s bailout programme, was requested by Irish journalist and FOI activist Gavin Sheridan in December 2011 via the web platform AsktheEU.org. The request and all correspondence can be found here.
The Ombudsman inspected the ECB letter to the Irish government and concluded that, now that three years have passed, the ECB could disclose it. The ECB, however, has again refused to publish the letter.
Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly commented: “At a time when so many people have been, and are, suffering as a result of austerity arising from the economic crisis, the very least a citizen can expect is openness and transparency from those who make decisions that directly impact on their lives and on the lives of their families.”