Monday 20 November 2017

George Garvey: Noonan must of promissory ensure we delay payment notes by another 90 years

Michael Noonan has to box clever when he meets fellow eurozone finance ministers tonight and press for a big reduction in Ireland’s €63bn of bank-related debt

TONIGHT'S meeting of the eurozone finance ministers will provide the first opportunity of gauging if the June 29 agreement "in principle" by European leaders on recapitalising troubled banks amounts to anything.

While the agreement was prompted by the worsening Spanish banking crisis, it quite clearly has huge implications for Ireland. Under its terms, the ESM -- the new permanent eurozone bailout fund -- will be able to invest money directly in banks rather than, as has been the case up to now, lending to the country concerned.

Lending a country the money to bail out its banks effectively turns private debt into sovereign debt. It was mounting concern about the cost to the Exchequer of bailing out our banks that forced this country out of the bond markets and into the arms of the troika in late 2010.

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