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Noonan speaking to reporters after yesterday's meeting Screen grab

Ireland may have to wait for money even after bank debt deal

Finance minister Michael Noonan has said there was “absolute support” in Europe for the principle of a deal on Ireland’s debt.

IRELAND MAY BE left waiting some time for a reduction in its financial burden even after a possible deal on our bank debt, finance minister Michael Noonan has said.

He said delays to the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – the bailout fund from which any financial aid will come – will mean there is no money available in October.

However, Noonan insisted that a deal would still be worthwhile – saying it would reassure markets until funding was secured.

Eurozone finance ministers yesterday set October as a deadline for a renegotiation of Ireland’s bank debt.

Noonan said it was “hard to envisage” that the ESM would be operative by October. Speaking after a meeting of the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council in Brussels yesterday, the Minister for Finance said:

What I would envisage is that [the bank debt] would be renegotiated, it would be announced – which would have a positive effect on the markets which is our primary concern – and then it would be implemented when the ESM was in a position to fund the recapitalisation.

The Dáil approved the ratification of the ESM last month, though it is still facing legal challenges. Other countries are yet to formally approve it.

Noonan also confirmed that the Government was hoping for a major reduction in Ireland’s debt when talks begin in September. “We’ll be ambitious in our ask,” he said.

There is “absolute support” among other European countries for the principle of a renegotiation, he added.

Read: Eurozone: Irish bank debt will be re-examined by autumn>

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