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Thursday 18 January 2018

Bank debt deal not on cards this year, says German envoy

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

The German ambassador has insisted that any deal on Ireland's bank debt is off the table until next year at the earliest in a blow to the Government's hopes.

The Government has secured a deal to stretch out the repayment of the €25bn bill for bailing out Anglo Irish Bank for up to 40 years.

But it has been pushing Europe to get a refund on the remaining €32bn of taxpayers' money that went into AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, the German Ambassador to Ireland Dr Eckhardt Lubkemeier has made it clear that the German government would not be rushed into agreeing any bank debt deal either before or after the German elections this year.

Dr Lubkemeier said there had already been quite substantial solidarity from Germany towards Ireland, particularly from the €40bn contributed by the EU towards the bailout programme.

Dr Lubkemeier also announced that he is running a German-language campaign to highlight the fact that there are up to 1,000 job vacancies here for German speakers.

He joked that learning German was not a condition of the bailout programme.

"This is a win-win situation for us and for you," he said.

Irish Independent

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