Sunday 25 February 2018

Noonan 'ambitious' in bid to renegotiate terms of bailout

Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan

Sarah Collins in Brussels

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan said his government will be "ambitious" in trying to renegotiate the terms of its bailout agreement.

“We don’t particularly want to get into talking numbers yet,” Noonan told reporters before a meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Brussels today.

“We will be ambitious with our demands. We’ve made it very clear what we have in mind.

''We’ll proceed with that.”

A deal for Ireland depends first on a banking supervisor being in place for Europe's top banks, a role that is to fall on the shoulders of the European Central Bank.

Ireland's fate will also be tied closely to that of Spain, which is currently trying to flesh out a €100 billion bailout for its banks, which will initially be funnelled through the government, adding to its debt, but later lifted off taxpayers' shoulders by the euro's future European Stability Mechanism fund.

Mr Noonan refused to comment on whether concessions would apply to the totality of the 64 billion euro bank debt bill.

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