Legacy debt on EU's agenda, says Gilmore


There are “hopes and expectations” that a deal on legacy debt may be concluded, the outgoing European Council presidency said in a press conference with the Tánaiste yesterday.

The “definition of legacy assets and legacy debt” will be one of the issues addressed early next year, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said as he looked forward to Ireland’s presidency from January.

“Ireland has always made it clear that we want to see legacy debt included in any resolution of the banking and financial problems that Europe and Ireland has had,” he said.

Asked whether or not a deal would be concluded on legacy debt, Cyprus’s deputy minister for European affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis said: “Our hope and expectation is that it will be taken on board. But we cannot pre-empt the end of the discussions on this issue.”

Moving “as quickly as possible” towards allowing the EU’s permanent bailout fund to recapitalise banks directly was a priority for Ireland and the presidency of the EU, Mr Gilmore said.

“With renewed growth comes jobs for our people”, he said.

“If our presidency priorities sound similar to this it is because they are similar. Europe too needs to move to a new phase of recovery,” he said.

Next year would be economically important for Ireland as it “aims to be the first country to emerge” from an EU-IMF bailout programme, he told the Brussels press corps.

Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said Ireland would bring its “national resolve for recovery to bear on Europe’s recovery agenda”.