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Time for a whole new strategy on negotiations

THE Government's negotiating strategy with our European partners consists of two conflicting components: regular expressions of confidence that all of Ireland's public debt will be repaid, accompanied by requests for debt relief.

The necessity for debt relief is denied by the aforementioned expressions of confidence. It is undermined further by assertions that Ireland expects to re-enter the bond market next year. If you are confident that you can pay all your debts, so confident that you expect to be back in the markets pretty soon, what is the case for debt relief? This never looked like a coherent strategy and it emerged last Friday that the European Central Bank is not sympathetic to the case put to them.

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