Noonan welcomes move on Irish debt
Euro zone finance ministers have agreed in principle to extend the maturity of Ireland’s rescue loans, a move with potential to cut the cost of the bailout by billions of euro.
The ministers called late last night for an examination of the maturity of Ireland’s loans from the EFSF, the fund controlled by euro zone countries. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan stressed there was no final decision but said there was “no objection of any sort” to this move at talks in Brussels.
There was “a decision in principle to proceed in this manner and it will enhance the sustainability of the Irish debt and it is additional to all the other measures we have in play”, he said.
He will today seek a similar examination in respect of loans from the EFSM, a separate fund controlled by the European Commission.
“If you extend the profile of the debt, that means the NTMA wouldn’t have to borrow to repay the debt as quickly as they’re now profiled. As a consequence you’d have a reduction in interest rate going forward,” he said.
“We’re not talking about hundreds of millions, we’re talking about savings of a certain amount of billions. We’d have to quantify that when the work is done on it. We’re not talking about huge amounts of money, we’re talking about a significant amount.”