Saturday 16 December 2017

Joan Burton: Do us a deal on Anglo debt for fiscal compact referendum Yes

Joan Burton
Joan Burton
Eamon O Cuiv
Micheal Martin: faces backlash at Ard Fheis
Leo Duggan from Co. Limerick protested outside Leinster House with Rural Ireland Against Charges.
Eamonn O Cuiv (right), the grandson of party founder and Ireland's first Taoiseach Eamon De Valera, stood down after clashing with leader Martin over the upcoming referendum on the EU deal.
Eamon O Cuiv (right) has stepped down as Fianna Fail's deputy leader following a row with Micheal Martin over Europe
Eamon O Cuiv, deputy leader of Ireland's chief Opposition party Fianna Fail, who has dramatically resigned over the controversial European fiscal treaty.
Micheal Martin outside Leinster House, Dublin reporters

THE EUROPEAN Union should cut the cost of Ireland’s banking bail-out to help Ireland pass the high stakes fiscal compact referendum, Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said.

The €31bn in promissory notes issued to cover the cost of winding up Anglo Irish Bank should be restructured, she told the Financial Times in an interview.

Another €3.1bn instalment is due to be paid on March 31.

Under the current arrangements Ireland must pay €31bn over 10 years to cover the cost of the promissory notes issued to meet the cost of winding up Anglo and Irish Nationwide. With interest that cost will rise to €47bn.

“People have made enormous sacrifices in terms of austerity... Relief in relation to the promissory notes would underline and emphasise once again the solidarity that Ireland has received from the eurozone,” she told the newspaper’s Dublin correspondent Jamie Smyth.

Ms Burton said that a move on the promissory notes would be very helpful to the referendum campaign and would be noted by the Irish people.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has raised the issue of the restructuring of Ireland’s debt burden and discussed the promissory notes with ECB President Mario Draghi in Frankfort last month.

The promissory notes to recapitalise Anglo and Irish Nationwide are scheduled to be paid down by the end of 2025.

A restructuring of the debt could result in the saving of billions of euro.

Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte said last month that work on renegotiating a deal with Europe on the IOUs was continuing.

“I'm very hopeful that a deal will be reached and reached sooner [rather] than later," said Minister Rabbitte.

"As you know, the Irish Government has been working away for some months now at the effort to restructure the commitments that have been entered into in respect of the promissory notes, in respect of Anglo Irish Bank as it was, and I'm very hopeful that he has been making significant progress."

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