Michael Noonan wants to 'engage seriously' with Troika on bailout exit strategy

Tuesday 09 July 2013 21.57
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Michael Noonan said eurozone ministers shared the IMF's objective for a return to economic growth
Michael Noonan said eurozone ministers shared the IMF's objective for a return to economic growth
EU finance ministers met for the first time under the Lithuanian Presidency of the European Council
EU finance ministers met for the first time under the Lithuanian Presidency of the European Council

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said he wants to "engage seriously" with Troika representatives in the coming days on how Ireland will exit its bailout and what assistance the EU and IMF might be able to provide.

Mr Noonan said: "I would like to engage seriously with the Troika on [bailout] exit strategies to ensure that when we go back into the markets, in a continuous way in the autumn, we stay and get money at low interest rates.

"I will be asking [the troika] what ideas they have and where they might assist us in that."

The minister was speaking after a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.

He said there was nothing in a strongly-worded statement from the International Monetary Fund on the risks of further financial turbulence that would cause concern for eurozone finance ministers.

The IMF called on eurozone countries to take coordinated and speedy action to revive economic growth.

Mr Noonan said those comments were similar to a presentation made by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at their meeting.

He said that the eurozone "shared that objective".

Asked if tension existed between the EU and IMF on economic policy, Mr Noonan said he had not seen "anything unusual" that would suggest the relationship was under strain.

This was the first meeting of finance ministers under the Lithuanian Presidency of the European Council.

It was also the first full meeting attended by Croatia since it joined the EU on 1 July.

Mr Noonan also played down talk of a rift between Germany and the European Commission over plans to have a central authority to wind-up troubled banks.

The commission is due to publish its proposals tomorrow, which it is believed will empower the commission to wind-up a failing bank even against the advice of member states.

There is also concern in Germany that its lenders may be obliged to pay when a bank fails in another eurozone country.

Asked about comments by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that suggested that treaty change may be required, Mr Noonan said: "He is simply saying there would be a constitutional problem in Germany if one was to go beyond what is designed, but he is quite prepared to fulfil what has been designed."

Asked if he believed that a full banking union could be completed under existing treaties, Mr Noonan replied: "Absolutely. And Wolfgang is of the same view."