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Occupy Dame Street to hold protest against bondholder payout

Organisers of the Occupy Dame Street protests are to demonstrate against the repayment of an unsecured Anglo Irish Bank bond later today.

Bannerss outside the Central Bank calling for a halt to the bondholder payouts.
Bannerss outside the Central Bank calling for a halt to the bondholder payouts.
Image: Photocall Ireland

OCCUPY DAME STREET demonstrators are to gather outside the Department of Finance later today to protest against the repayment of a US$1 billion unsecured Anglo Irish Bank bond.

The protest will take place at noon in conjunction with the ongoing Ballyhea Bondholder Bailout marches.

The organisers of the demonstration said they consider the €718 million payout as “an odious debt which the Irish state and citizens have no obligation to pay”.

“The amount of this bond payment would pay the salaries of about 2,500 extra nurses for five years; or cover one-fifth of the cuts and tax increases planned for the 2012 budget; or cover the entire cost of the new national children’s hospital,” the group said in a statement.

Despite calls from Opposition parties over the weekend for the Government to make last ditch efforts to stop the repayment, the payout is expected to be signed off on today as the bond falls due on Wednesday.

It is understood that Anglo – or the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) as it is now called – is also making arrangements for the repayment today.

The payout comes just days after EU leaders agreed a 50 per cent haircut on Greek debt.

Since the property crash, the Irish State has poured €34.1 billion into Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society.

The Government will sit tomorrow and it is expected that Finance Minister Michael Noonan will have to answer questions on why the Cabinet did not use the Greek negotiations last week to open up discussions on the Anglo bondholder issue.

The bond is being repaid to senior, unsecured Anglo bondholders but the bank and the Government insist that the obligations must be met in full.

It is not clear who exactly are the beneficiaries of this week’s payments are. The bond was first issued in 2006 but could have been sold on by its original holders.

IBRC has another €1.25 billion payment falling due on 25 January, 2012.

More: Govt under pressure over Anglo bondholder payout>

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