Noonan hopeful of EU agreement on failed banks

Monday 24 June 2013 22.12
Michael Noonan hopes for EU agreement on winding up failed banks when finance ministers meet again on Wednesday
Michael Noonan hopes for EU agreement on winding up failed banks when finance ministers meet again on Wednesday

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said he is optimistic agreement can be reached on a mechanism to wind up failed banks when his EU colleagues meet on Wednesday.

Speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels, Mr Noonan said he adjourned marathon talks last Friday because they were "running out of time" rather than due to issues which were impossible to resolve.

He told MEPs this evening that there had been good progress and he would "work as long and as late" as would be needed to secure a deal.

He said everyone in Ireland had suffered as a result of the eurozone crisis, adding that the description of the country as the "poster-child" for austerity angered people.

He was responding to a Green MEP who suggested that Irish citizens had been on the receiving end of "harsh treatment" which had "little to do with social justice".

He said that non-eurozone countries were seeking greater flexibility and while there was a general view that this should happen, the question remained as to what level would be considered appropriate.

Mr Noonan said EU states outside the eurozone wanted the flexibility because they had banking resolution funds built up over recent years and needed to be able to use these monies in the event of a bank collapse.

Asked about signals from the US Federal Reserve that it was preparing to taper-off quantative easing, Mr Noonan said he hoped Washington would not do anything suddenly, as it would "cause us a lot of trouble".

Regarding recent disputes between the EU and IMF, Mr Noonan said he would like to see the IMF continuing to be associated with programmes.

Both Mr Noonan and his cabinet colleagues were praised by MEPs for the way in which they ran the six-month Irish Presidency of the European Council.