Noonan ‘quite happy’ with new deal

Finance Minister Michael Noonan still believes he can secure a deal to pump billions in European money into Irish banks — as well as an agreement to push back some of our bailout repayments by seven years. In an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent, Mr Noonan said he expected a deal on EU bank regulation this weekend — which would be a positive step towards a multi-billion euro package to ease the burden on the taxpayer.

He also said he had pushed to be given longer to repay as much as ¿40bn in Irish bailout debt, but is “quite happy” with the seven-year extension that is on the table.

The influential Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem also said “the intention is very positive” when it comes to such a deal.

They were speaking ahead of a crunch meeting of European finance ministers, which begins in Dublin today. Getting more time to repay the bailout loans and securing a separate deal on bank rescues are the two key issues facing Irish negotiators as we prepare to exit the bailout programme. The Irish Independent