‘No objections ’ to early payment of IMF loans - EU official

Brussels says no decision yet on Ireland’s request to repay some debt early

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is embarking on a diplomatic drive this week to persuade his European counterparts to allow Ireland repay the IMF before European bailout loans are paid off. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is embarking on a diplomatic drive this week to persuade his European counterparts to allow Ireland repay the IMF before European bailout loans are paid off. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

 

There are “no objections or legal concerns” to Ireland’s request to repay some of its IMF debt ahead of schedule, an EU official told reporters in Brussels this morning, adding that doing so would be seen as a “good move”.

However, the official added that a decision on the issue is not imminent, because there are many procedures needed for Ireland to repay these loans early. If Ireland does succeed in its request, it will still be monitored by the IMF, because not all IMF loans would be repaid.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is embarking on a diplomatic drive this week to persuade his European counterparts to allow Ireland repay the IMF before European bailout loans are paid off. Such approval is required because the Government is obliged under the 2010 bailout agreement to repay the IMF and European lenders at the same time.

The Minister has meetings today and tomorrow with interim economics commissioner Jyrki Katainen, ESM chief Klaus Regling, leader of the euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.

These meetings come ahead of talks in Milan on Friday with his European counterpart.

Additional reporting: Bloomberg