Tuesday 19 September 2017

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore insists ratifying treaty will strengthen our hand in negotiating bank debt

THE TANAISTE has insisted ratifying the European fiscal treaty will strengthen Ireland's hand in renegotiating its bank debt.

Eamon Gilmore dismissed German claims that restructuring the Troika rescue arrangements would send a wrong signal to Europe, saying last week's Yes vote in the referendum has put the country in a more powerful position to ask for a debt write-down.



"The decisive decision that was made by the Irish people on Thursday has certainly strengthened the hand of the Government, giving us added authority in talking to the European institutions and the other European member states," said Mr Gilmore.



"We are going to continue doing that to secure a deal in relation to our bank debt which is satisfactory for the point of the Irish taxpayers."



Senior German officials reportedly threw cold water on Ireland's plans to renegotiate its €60bn euro-plus bank bailout repayments to the Troika - the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.



The Government had also hoped to seek a write-down in its €47bn Anglo Irish Bank promissory note scheme.



But it is understood Germany has cast doubt on any bank deal on the back of Ireland's decision to ratify the treaty.



An official said as Ireland is already considered a model bailout state, having its debt restructured now would send the wrong message to other European countries.



Any decision to allow Ireland any kind of debt reprieve would have to be agreed upon unanimously by all European Union leaders.



But a negative response from Germany - one of the largest contributors to the EU bailout funds - would prevent this.



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