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Any bailout deal would have to get approval from all EU members, admits Noonan

Any deal on extending the payback period on Ireland’s bailout loans would have to be signed off by national parliaments in EU member countries, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.

Speaking before a meeting of European finance ministers in Dublin Castle, Mr Noonan said he didn’t foresee any objection in principle.

The Government hopes a deal can be struck which will see Ireland getting an extra seven years on average to repay some bailout loans from Europe.

"But obviously individual countries would have to process any arrangement that arises through their national parliaments," Mr Noonan said.

"That would be a matter for individual countries. Sometimes it would be difficult to forsee whether there might be difficulties in the parliaments."

Mr Noonan described the plan to extend the repayment period on some of the €40bn of loans from Europe as a period of "rolling negotiations".

He said he met his Portuguese counterpart yesterday and had a long exchange of views. Portugal is also looking for an extension on the repayment period for its loans. He also met European economy commissioner Olli Rehn.

The head of the 17-member Eurogroup of Eurozone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said he was optimistic of a deal.

Mr Noonan reiterated that direct recapitalisation of the banks would not be dealt with until next year at the earliest, but there will be continuing discussions on establishing an EU banking union, which is a precursor to recapitalisation.

EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn said it is "essential" an agreement is reached on extending the maturities of Irish and Portuguese bailout loans today.

"It's important in order to support both countries in their efforts and implementation of the programme and in order successfully from the adjustment programme," Mr Rehn said.

"We are thinking of seven year maturities."

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici also said Ireland and Portugal should be rewarded for implementing their bailout programmes, and said France would support Ireland.

Online Editors