Monday 22 January 2018

Gilmore claims deal 'rights a wrong' done to the people

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore said that the deal on the Anglo debt was "righting a wrong" that was done to the Irish people.

He said the new deal to pay back the remaining €25bn of Anglo debt over a longer period of up to 40 years was an extremely good day for the state, the economy and the Irish people.

"We have torn up the promissory note and we have wiped Anglo off the map," he said.

The deal will not remove the state's obligation to pay back the Anglo debt but will ease the repayment burden by extending the length of time for repayment.

Mr Gilmore paid tribute to Finance Minister Michael Noonan for his skill and determination, which led Government backbenchers to give the Limerick TD a round of applause.

And Mr Gilmore stood over the Government's strategy of dealing slowly and methodically with bank debt. He said he had learnt as a young trade union offical that "you  should never organise an ice-cream strike in the middle of winter". Mr Gilmore said the Government had not acted when its hand was weak - it had repaired Ireland's image abroad first.

"We made it clear we were willing to deal with our own problems but that we were carrying an unacceptable share of other people's mistakes'" he said.

Mr Gimore also threw a barb at Labour rebels such as Colm Keaveney and Roisin Shortall who had voted against the Budget without referring to them by name. He praised the Government TDs who had put the country's interests ahead of "short term political advantage".

But Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty criticised the Government's deal, saying that every single penny of the toxic Anglo debt would still have to be repaid eventually by taxpayers.

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