Wednesday 21 March 2018

Government in bailout talks with EU and IMF

The Government is in talks with European and International Monetary Fund officials about a bailout that would shore up the State’s finances as well as enable it to inject capital into the country’s banks, said a European official with direct knowledge of the talks.

The two-part funding package would mean the Government wouldn’t have to tap the bond market for an extended period as it tries to cut the budget deficit, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

It would also give the Government capital to help banks if necessary. The Government says Ireland is fully funded into mid-2011.

Negotiations are continuing and no decision has been reached, the person said. European finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today at 5pm.

Irish officials have held talks with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF in the past days, the person said.

Irish assessments of banking losses held up to scrutiny in those discussions, the person said. Still, markets haven’t been persuaded, they said.

A Central Bank spokesman declined to comment while a Department of Finance spokesman also declined and referred to a statement issued on November 14.

The Government said two days ago it was in discussions with international officials about “market conditions.” The Taoiseach said late yesterday that no formal application had been made for EU support.


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