On Friday morning I heard Plutarchos Sakellaris, vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), interviewed on RTE where he confirmed that four Irish banks are actively negotiating with EIB for access to a pan-European €15 billion fund for lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
It seems that Finance Minister Brian Lenihan also heard that interview because he announced that same evening that he had asked the banks to submit to him their plans for making funds available to the SME sector. This ministerial initiative has received considerable coverage on RTE over the weekend.
It all smacks of opportunistic PR, with the minister attempting to claim credit for an initiative already in train. I suppose desperate times call for desperate PR measures.
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