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Monday 19 February 2018

Bailout fund talks will be 'long and slow'

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that talks on whether Ireland would be able to tap into Europe's bailout pot to help pay for the cost of bailing out the banks would be "long and slow".

He said the case would hinge on the argument that Ireland was prohibited from forcing bondholders to take a hit when it devised its bank bailout.

"The only way to position this as a unique solution for Ireland is because we weren't allowed to bail in the bondholders," Mr Noonan said.

"The Central Bank in Europe prevented us from doing that. According to them, it would have had a contagion effect, so if we participated in preventing contagion spreading to the European banking system, well then we have a case on which to build."

Separately, the committee is to hold an inquiry into multinational companies' tax affairs here, but is not going to invite any of the firms to give evidence.

The committee is expected to invite some 17 witnesses, mostly from academia and government. The move was criticised by Sinn Fein and Independent TD Richard Boyd Barrett.

Irish Independent

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