Business Irish

Saturday 21 October 2017

Greece crisis: New deal for Greeks would be put to Dail for approval

Michael Noonan, TD, Minister for Finance speaks to journalists as he arrived for a Fine Gael meeting at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 13/1/2015
Michael Noonan, TD, Minister for Finance speaks to journalists as he arrived for a Fine Gael meeting at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 13/1/2015

Colm Kelpie in Brussels

A potential new deal for Greece or a possible extension of the country's existing bailout programme would be put to the Dail for approval, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

But the Government wouldn't require the Dail's sanction to back a Greek extension, Mr Noonan added.

As Eurozone finance ministers gathered in Brussels for further talks on the way forward for the country, Mr Noonan said there had been no breakthrough over the weekend.

''Nothing happened over the weekend that would be described as a breakthrough and I think the ball is back in the Greek court again now with a request for them to explain to the rest of us what exactly are they looking for,'' Mr Noonan said, ahead of the meeting in Brussels.

Greece's current bailout runs out at the end of this month, and the left leaning Syriza led coalition has so far refused calls for it to request an extension of the programme, preferring instead to favour a so-called bridging loan to allow it time to renegotiate the bailout conditions.

But this has been resisted by Eurozone ministers.

Mr Noonan said a second alternative would be to negotiate a new programme.

''In my view an extension of the programme is the most immediate way of making progress,'' he said.

''But I wouldn't rule out both strategies; an extension of the present programme and then a negotiation of a new programme, sometime around mid summer.''

Asked if a deal would have to be put to the Dail, he said: ''If there was a new programme it would have to go to parliament.

''If there was an extension of the programme, I would feel obliged to go to the parliament and put it to the parliament, but the Government wouldn't require the sanction of the parliament.''

Reuters

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