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Read in full: Mario Draghi’s letter to Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath

The Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson has called on Michael Noonan to hold face-to-face negotiations with the European Central Bank president after he wrote to him last month.

FIANNA FÁIL HAS has called on Finance Minister Michael Noonan to hold “face-t0-face” negotiations with the European Central Bank president in a bid to secure a deal on the Anglo Irish Bank promissory note.

It comes after the opposition wrote to the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi outlining the reasons why Ireland deserves a deal on the controversial €3.06 billion payment due at the end of next month.

In response to a letter from the party’s finance spokesperson, Michael McGrath, Draghi says that he is “fully aware of the resilience displayed by Irish citizens” in what he says is a “necessary but difficult adjustment process”.

On the issue of the promissory notes, Draghi says that the ECB will continue to discuss with the Irish authorities “what may be achievable with respect to the promissory notes, within the confines of the treaties that govern our monetary union”.

McGrath had written to the Italian banker saying that it makes “no logical sense” to pay the promissory note on 31 March and called on the ECB to “facilitate the necessary steps” to bring the promissory note issue to a conclusion.

“Ireland needs and deserves a very good deal as an outcome to the current negotiations,” McGrath wrote.

In a statement issued with the letters released to the media this morning, McGrath said: “Minister Noonan needs to have as many direct face to face meetings as are necessary with the ECB President over the next eight weeks to get this deal over the line.

“This direct dialogue between the government and the ECB needs to start immediately.”

In full: The letter from Michael McGrath to Mario Draghi

In full: Draghi’s response

Gilmore: This is a critical time for discussion on promissory notes

Read: Everything you need to know about the promissory notes, but were afraid to ask

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Hugh O'Connell

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