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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019

Noonan: Decision on post-bailout credit line ‘finely balanced’

Minister Michael Noonan will travel to the Hague today to discuss Ireland’s bailout exit with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

Minister Noonan with Eurogroup president Dijsselbloem today.
Minister Noonan with Eurogroup president Dijsselbloem today.
Image: Department of Finance

Updated 5.37pm

FINANCE MINISTER Michael Noonan paid a whistle-stop visit to The Hague this afternoon to scope out Ireland’s post-bailout strategy.

Noonan had what what was described as a “constructive meeting” with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem to discuss whether or not Ireland will accept a line of precautionary credit when it exits the bailout programme next month.

The Department of Finance said in a statement this afternoon that “there are a number of options available to the Irish Government and it is matter for the Government to decide on the best approach”

Strict conditions could prevent the Irish government from opting for the ‘safety net’ that could be used in the event of the economy requiring further stimulus after the bailout exit.

Noonan said earlier that his meeting with Dijsselbloem would be good as the Dutch politician has “lot of political information which will be useful”.

Speaking before his meeting with the Cabinet this morning, Noonan said that Dijsselbloem provides an important link with other European governments.

He also said that the decision on the credit line is “finely balanced”, but said he wanted to gather the best possible information prior before bringing a memorandum before government.

In a comment released after the meeting, Noonan repeated this view, saying: “The objective is to secure a sustainable exit that supports economic growth and job creation.

“Broadly speaking, the options are to either exit the programme with or without a prearranged backstop. The decision is finely balanced.”

- additional reporting Hugh O’Connell

First published 11.18am

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Nicky Ryan

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