Moscovici says Irish bid for deal on bank debt has French support
The Government’s campaign to get a better deal on the bank debt has been boosted by the backing of French finance minister Pierre Moscovici.
He said in Dublin yesterday he was very supportive of the drive to get a deal on the bank debt.
Mr Moscovici was speaking after a meeting with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin ahead of next week’s Ecofin council in Brussels.
He said France was supportive of the Government’s efforts to get a better economic situation and to get out of the EU-IMF programme.
“I am confident those efforts will be successful and I trust Ireland will be the first country to get out of the programme,” he said after the meeting.
He also said stability in the euro zone was a key factor in growth as it affected confidence, especially that of foreign investors. He added that the right balance between financial stability, which was absolutely necessary, and policies that would boost growth had to be debated.
No tax tension
The French finance minister also said there was no tension between Ireland and France on the matter of corporation tax, adding that the issue was not even mentioned at the meeting.
Mr Moscovici also said Europe must acknowledge that countries around the region faced different situations as they tried to cut deficits and sustain growth and he reiterated that France must stick to its plan to reduce its public deficit.
In a statement after the meeting, the three ministers said they agreed that the return of growth must be put at the heart of Europe’s priorities in the coming months.
They also said they shared the goal of completing the implementation of the EU banking union as soon as possible and agreed to make progress on the economic and taxation agenda during Ireland’s presidency of the European Union over the next six months.
The statement added that they also agreed on the need to reach agreement on the EU budget for 2014 to 2020 in the coming weeks as well as making progress on the economic and taxation agenda during the Irish presidency.
“This will include the strengthening of the economic governance by securing agreement with the European Parliament on the so-called two pack as well as the establishment of the roadmap to enable further integration of the European Economic and Monetary Union,” the statement said.
“The Ministers noted that at next week’s Ecofin, the first under the presidency of Minister Noonan, the council will take a decision to authorise member states to move ahead under enhanced co-operation in the area of a financial transaction tax.”
Mr Moscovici also spoke at the Institute for International and European Affairs, a non-partisan think tank, on the policy outlook for France at the European level. He also met representatives of French firms active in Ireland.
European Central Bank executive board member Benoît Coeuré said any change to the promissory notes used to rescue former Anglo Irish Bank must not constitute monetary financing. “If the Irish Government wants to restructure . . . that can be discussed. But it needs to be done in respecting legal constraints, notably that the Central Bank of Ireland can’t finance governments.”