A RELAXED Minister for Finance said there was no reason for all the “panic” over German chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments that the EU fund for rescuing distressed banks could not be drawn upon retrospectively.
But Michael Noonan does not anticipate that a final deal on either the Anglo Irish/IRBC promissory notes or the debts of Bank of Ireland and AIB will be done in time for the next budget
Speaking at the University of Limerick, Minister Noonan said it was clear that Dr Merkel’s comments on the European Stability Mechanism were in relation to Spanish banks.
“The question she was asked was directly about Spain. People are very anxious to get a deal. A lot of people are suffering in Ireland at the moment. There is a heavy burden on them and they thought that they were in a position to get a deal and then it looked...that the deal was being taken away. But that is not the situation. Mrs Merkel has confirmed now that Ireland is a unique case and that Germany and Ireland will work closely together to resolve this issue some time next year.”
The joint statement of Dr Merkel and Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Sunday merely “reflected what we had been told in private”. “So we never shared in the degree of panic that seemed to sweep the country over the weekend because we knew we had an understanding on this since (the European summit of) June 29,” Minister Noonan said.
“Intense” negotiations would continue on unravelling what Minister Noonan described as the “bad deals” agreed by the previous government which had placed a €64 billion burden on the shoulders of Irish citizens.
“These weren’t public banks, they were private sector banks. What we are trying to do is unwind the very bad deals that were made so that the Irish taxpayer at the end of the day will have to pay less.”
Minister Noonan was speaking at the Kemmy Business School to announce its partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, which sees the accountancy firm invest a “significant amount” in the university in exchange for naming rights for two lecture halls over the next 25 years.