Deal on Anglo promissory notes needed before bailout exit - Enda Kenny

Friday 11 January 2013 11.43
Enda Kenny was speaking at a news conference with José Manuel Barroso
Enda Kenny was speaking at a news conference with José Manuel Barroso

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that Ireland needs a deal on Anglo Irish Bank promissory notes in order to exit the EU-IMF bailout.

Mr Kenny also said Ireland needs clarity on how the European Stability Mechanism can alleviate Ireland's bank debt.

Speaking at a news conference alongside European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, the Taoiseach said no other country had been burdened with similar levels of bank debt.

He said that fact had been recognised by the German Chancellor and the French Fresident.

"For Ireland to exit its programme successfully we do need a conclusion to the negotiations on the promissory notes on the one hand and the conclusion, eventually, on the discussions on a banking deal arising from the decision of the 29th of June on breaking the link between sovereign and bank debt," Mr
Kenny told a news conference in Dublin Castle.

He was speaking following a bilateral meeting with Mr Barroso, and a plenary session between the Government and the College of EU Commissioners.

Mr Barroso said he had always made the case for solidarity with Ireland and for fairness in the European Union.

However, he declined to say how long it would take before there was clarity on how the ESM might be used to directly recapitalise banks in a way that would benefit Ireland.

Mr Barroso said member states should stick to the letter and spirit of the 29 June summit statement, which pledged to break the link between bank debt and sovereign debt.

That statement was the first official acknowledgement of the need to examine Ireland's aspirations on bank debt.

Since then, however, doubt has been cast on whether or not the ESM might be used to alleviate Ireland's historical bank debt.

Taxpayers should not have to clean up banks - Barroso

Mr Barroso has said that never again should the taxpayers of a country have to pay "to clean up the banks".

He made the comments while launching the European Year of Citizens at Dublin City Hall.

The comments were greeted by a round of applause from the assembled group of 200 people, comprising members of the public, current and former politicians and other interested parties.

Mr Barroso said laws would be put in place at a European level to ensure taxpayers did not have to bear this cost again.

He said it was important that European politicians earned the trust of citizens.

Mr Barroso congratulated the Irish people, who he said had shown remarkable resistance and resolution in the face of austerity.

He said he was aware of the difficult situations facing families in Ireland, adding it was the same for families in his native Portugal.

When asked whether he thought the EU was doing enough to tackle the economic crisis, Mr Barroso said "Europe has done a lot but we need to do more".

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