Monday 26 February 2018

Michael Noonan refuses to rule out deal on our €64bn in bank debt

Fiach Kelly in Brussels

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan is refusing to rule out a deal on Ireland's €64bn in bank debt ahead of next month's Budget, even though the prospect is highly unlikely.

He is in Brussels this evening for a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, but the main focus is on solving the ongoing crisis in Greece.

The meeting is reviewing the Greek bailout and considering a possible release of new funds, with another €32bn needed.

But Mr Noonan is not expected to press on Ireland's bank debt deal, but did not rule out getting a deal in time for the Budget.

"Well I don't want to close off anything by saying no," Mr Noonan added. "I'm pushing to get an agreement as quickly as I may get that agreement and I don't want to close off any options."

He also said the Government does not want to pay the next tranche of the Anglo-Irish Bank promissory note, with €3.1bn due in March.

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