Positive signals from Berlin for promissory note deal, says Creighton
Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has received positive signals that Berlin supports Government efforts to recast the Anglo Irish promissory note before the end of March.
After talks with German finance ministry officials yesterday, Ms Creighton reported an “upbeat” response towards the Government’s aim to improve the fiscal sustainability of the arrangement. “I had very positive signals that the German government is fully supportive of the Irish request to resolve the promissory note issue,” said Ms Creighton last night in Berlin. “There was very explicit support for a deal.”
Talks have been ongoing between Irish officials and the European Central Bank on extending the 10-year repayment period for €30.6 billion loans issued in 2010 to wind up Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.
Any agreement will be between Dublin and the Frankfurt central bank and officials involved directly in the lengthy talks are anxious not to disappoint expectations already dashed in the past.
But signals that the Government’s message was getting through in Germany, and that Berlin would not block a deal, will add momentum before the next €3.1 billion instalment is due to the ECB on March 31st.
In a speech to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation yesterday, Ms Creighton said progress on the “extraordinary” promissory note arrangement had priority for the Government in the coming weeks.
“We’re not saying we don’t want to pay our debts, we are saying we want it extended over a longer period to make it more manageable,” she said.
On legacy bank debt, Ms Creighton said the Government did not want to be “prescriptive” but would press for concessions as part of an overall deal on bank recapitalisation this year.