FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan said it was now "very likely" that a deal will be in place to allow Ireland restructure the promissory note repayment schedule.
Speaking in Cork, Mr Noonan said he believes a deal will be struck with the ECB to allow the next €3.1bn promissory note repayment to be rescheduled.
However, he warned that talks with the European Central Bank (ECB) were now at a critical phase and it would be “premature” to comment on specifics of the proposed deal.
“The position with the promissory note is that there are ongoing negotiations. I am about at the stage in the negotiations that I expected I would be at coming into Christmas. We have to get a good result,” he said.
“This is ongoing and the promissory note instalment for 2013 doesn’t have to be paid until the last day in March – this is only the first of February so there is a long way to go yet.”
Last December, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte ruled out the March promissory note payment.
“I think the context he (Mr Rabbitte) was speaking in was he, like myself, he was saying it was likely there will be a deal. Because it is likely there will be a deal there won’t be a payment made. That is the context,” said Mr Noonan.