Ireland 'won't seek debt writedown'

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has reiterated that Ireland will not impose losses on holders of the country's sovereign debt, as Greece looks to strike a deal with private creditors.

"It's very clear that Ireland has not sought and will not seek any writedown," Mr Kenny said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday in New York. "We'll pay our dues in full and on time."

Ireland is looking for help in the wake of the bailout of the former Anglo Irish Bank, once the country's third-largest lender by assets. The State seeks to refinance about €30 billion of so-called promissory notes used to rescue the bank, now known as Irish Bank Resolution Corp, on better terms and over a longer period.

While holders of Greek bonds face losses of more than 70 per cent, Ireland has insisted it won't seek to impose any losses on sovereign bondholders.

Having different lending facilities could "ease the burden somewhat" as the country tries to recover, Mr Kenny said in the interview on Bloomberg Television's In Business with Margaret Brennan.

"And while it's difficult for our people and challenging for our country, we know we're headed in the right direction."

While signs are emerging that Ireland is beginning to recover 15 months after an international bailout, the Government says the economy is in the midst of the worst crisis since the second World War.

Mr Kenny's comments follow those of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, who said that Ireland may try to take advantage of any "arrangement" that Greece agrees with the European Central Bank on the country's debt.

Any concessions that Greece gets from the ECB could help Ireland's negotiating position, Mr Noonan said.

"We have gone through four detailed analyses by the troika," Mr Kenny said, referring to the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission. "Ireland has passed all of those analyses with honours."

Bloomberg