Kenny, Noonan confident on deal
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has re-iterated his belief that Ireland will be successful in negotiating a deal on the EUR31 billion promissory note issued to help bail out Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Taoiseach Enda Kenny today both re-iterated their belief that Ireland will be successful in negotiating a deal on the €31 billion promissory note issued to help bail out Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society.
Days before travelling to Brussels for talks, Mr Kenny said negotiations on restructuring the promissory note repayments were technical and complex. But he insisted he was hopeful a solution could be reached before the end of March deadline.
“We’ve always been very clear about this. A deal on the promissory note would greatly ease our capacity to meet our debts and also ease our exit from the programme we are in,” Mr Kenny said in Dublin this morning.
“We are confident that we will achieve the deal and an agreement on this by the end date in March, which is the next payment date. Clearly this is an important issue for Ireland.”
The Taoiseach will travel to Brussels on Monday to meet European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament.
Separately, Mr Noonan said he was confident a deal would be reached with the European Central Bank before March 31st when Ireland is due to make an instalment payment on the promissory note to settle the debts of the two financial institutions.
"The position with the promissory note is that there are ongoing negotiations. I am about at the stage in the negotiations that I expected I would be at coming into Christmas. We have to get a good result," he said in Charleville in Co Cork this morning, where he addressed a conference on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. "This is ongoing and the promissory note instalment for 2013 doesn’t have to be paid until the last day in March – this is only the first of February so there is a long way to go yet."
Asked if the Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte had been premature in his prediction that Ireland would not pay on the promissory note, Mr Noonan said the comments had to be looked at in context. "I think the context he (Pat Rabbitte) was speaking in was he, like myself, he was saying it was likely there will be a deal. Because it is likely there will be a deal there won’t be a payment made. That is the context."
Mr Noonan said the Government remained committed to sourcing alternative lines of credit to assist SMEs.
"The availability of credit is important because although we have repaired the banks, they are still not providing the credit flow for small businesses that I would like to see them provide and of course there must be long term alternatives sources to the banking system as well," he said.