Belfast Telegraph

Bank chief confident on debt deal

Ireland's chief banker has declared his confidence that a deal is about to be struck on easing the country's debt burden.

Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan said a plan to spread out cash repayments of around 30 billion euro in so-called promissory notes to Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide over a longer timeframe was now likely.

The Government had promised to repay the money in 2010 - at a rate of around 3.1 billion euro every year - as part of a bail-out of the failed banks at the time.

The next payment to Anglo is due on Saturday and "vigorous" negotiations have been ongoing with European authorities for a longer-term solution to repaying the banking debts forced upon taxpayers.

"While some technicalities still need to be resolved, it now seems likely that this effort will be successful," Mr Honohan told an Oireachtas committee.

"I think it's going to happen."

Mr Honohan revealed the plan being hammered out with the European Central Bank and others was designed to free Ireland from any more debts to the former Anglo Irish, now rebranded the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

Asked how much more cash the state would need to pay towards the winding up of the rogue lender, he signalled that negotiations were focused on an end to any more repayments.

"This is the objective of the plan - to eliminate the cash need," he told the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform.

"So this is supposed to be a technique for eliminating the cash need."

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