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Draghi rules out new Anglo deal

EUROPEAN Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has poured cold water on a deal for Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr Draghi suggested that such a deal to recast the debts of Anglo would break EU law.

He said that although the Irish Budget was a "reaffirmation of the successful commitment of the Irish Government", it was not a done deal for the bank.

He said that the ECB would not allow the illegal printing of money, in relation to a deal on Anglo's debt before the next €3.1bn payment falls due in March.

"The ECB cannot undertake any agreement -- cannot enter into any agreement -- that is being viewed as monetary financing, that would be forbidden by article 123 of the treaty," he said. "So, other than that, there is plenty of goodwill."

Economists are viewing Mr Draghi's remarks as a rejection of any long-term durable solution.

The comments are also at odds with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan's remarks that the ECB was now more willing to pursue talks with the Government.

Mr Noonan said yesterday he was "pretty confident" of reaching an agreement to avoid the March payment.

"It's not done yet," he said. "I don't want to pre-announce or anything like that."