Talks on deferring €3.1bn IBRC payment ongoing, Noonan tells Dáil


NEGOTIATIONS WITH the EU authorities to avoid a €3.1 billion cash payment due at the end of this month continued in Dublin and Frankfurt yesterday, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan told the Dáil.

The payment relates to the State’s bill for Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.

Replying to Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, the Minister said he was not expecting a statement yesterday.

“I cannot really go beyond that but as soon as I am not constrained I will give the deputy the full information either in a private briefing or here in the House,” he added.

Mr Noonan said he remained as hopeful of a successful outcome to the negotiations as he was when he first announced the breakthrough in the Dáil on Wednesday night.

Mr McGrath said the outline of the deal, described on Wednesday night, was certainly promising.

“It is a sign of a breakthrough and it is the first indication of some level of flexibility on the part of the European Central Bank on restructuring this promissory note,” he added.

“Its real value is if it is an interim step towards an overall settlement which will ultimately result in a reduction of the debt burden facing the Irish people in respect of legacy bank debt.”

Mr McGrath said most people would be interested to know the impact of the deal, if successful, would have on future budgets, on the general government deficit and on general government debt levels for Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Government defeated a Sinn Féin Private Member’s motion, seeking the removal of the “blackmail clause” relating to the European fiscal compact treaty, by 85 votes to 37.

The party argued that it was simply not true for the Government to say that if a majority of people voted “no” in the treaty referendum, Ireland would be denied European Stability Mechanism funding in the future.

Sligo-North Leitrim SF TD Michael Colreavy said the Government would rather support a clause that blackmailed citizens into austerity than show some real leadership.

“They have handed the European elite the power to coerce our people so that the austerity treaty would be passed in this State,” he added.

Galway West Labour TD Derek Nolan said the simplicity of Sinn Féin’s motion typified the party’s approach to economics and economic policy.

“We are constantly left with the prospect of Sinn Féin coming in and its approach being based on emotion and fantasy versus an actual plan or one based on reality,” he added.