Friday 20 October 2017

Noonan in talks with ECB on postponing Anglo €30bn

Michael Noonan. Photo: PA
Michael Noonan. Photo: PA

Maeve Dineen

THE Government is understood to be in talks with the European Central Bank (ECB) about postponing its repayment of more than €30bn of Anglo Irish debt for a decade.



Both the ECB and the European Commission had accepted the political and economic arguments for reducing the cost of the bailout, but neither had committed to pushing the argument for Ireland.

The ECB is believed to be open to proposals to replace Anglo's €30bn so-called promissory note, or government IOU, for another debt payment method.

Yesterday, government sources confirmed that much of the focus was on postponing the annual repayments of €3bn for more than decade.

The commission's economics chief, Olli Rehn, has promised to discuss the matter with senior eurozone officials.

The news comes after Finance Minister Michael Noonan met Mr Rehn in Brussels yesterday before travelling to Frankfurt for his first meeting with ECB president Mario Draghi.

The ECB delegation is believed to have indicated that they are open to the general idea that Anglo's promissory note be replaced with a bond from Europe's bailout fund. (The Government would then pay back the bailout fund over a longer period.)

But the ECB won't commit to anything further until the Government has actually got agreement from the bailout fund to pursue that course.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will head to Brussels today and is sure to try to canvass sup- port for the anticipated debt reduction.

Irish Independent

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