Government to seek reductions on debt of up to €20bn
FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan said today that Ireland will seek to reduce its debts by between €15bn and €20bn through negotiations with European partners.
His comments came just a day after the Government paid back €700m to unsecured bondholders in the now nationalised Anglo Irish Bank in a move that raised the ire of opposition parties.
The reductions would be achieved by tapping into the European Financial Stability Facility or bailout fund.
"While I can't tell you it will happen.
“I will tell you there is a process in place," Mr Noonan told members of the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin.
And he conceded that there would be great difficulty in getting a referendum over the line here if it were required to change EU treaties.
"We don't think we will get it through at present," Mr Noonan said when he was asked about a possible referendum as part of European reforms.
"I don't think from what we hear there will be any proposal to change the treaty for four or five years,” he said.