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Leaders' Questions

Troika forced Ireland into repaying €1bn AIB bond - Quinn

Ruairí Quinn says the Troika are the only people who will affordably lend to Ireland – so what they say goes.

EDUCATION MINISTER has said that the government was forced to repay €1 billion to the holders of unsecured bonds in AIB because of the insistence of the EU-IMF Troika.

Taking Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this morning, Quinn said the state of the national finances meant the Troika was the only lender who would give Ireland the money it needed to run its services at an interest rate Ireland could afford.

“We have borrowed, so far this year, €11 billion. €11 billion. For the first nine months of this year. And there’s probably going to be another €4.5 billion,” Quinn told the technical group’s Richard Boyd Barrett.

“There is nobody else in the world that will lend us this money at rates we can afford.

“The terms of the deal that we have – with the only group in town that will lend us the money – is that we cannot burn the bondholders,” he said.

Boyd Barrett had commented that the repayment of the bond, coupled with the continuing debacle over the allocation of primary care centres, was “reminiscent of the Fianna Fáil sleaze you would have denounced a couple of years ago”.

Quinn responded:

You and I share some things in common. We come from the same spectrum of the ideological politics of this country.

Even Leon Trotsky agreed with Lenin when they went into government that a new economic policy was necessary to overcome the crisis before they could get on the path of righteousness.

Quinn had earlier dismissed questions from both Billy Kelleher, representing Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams about Reilly’s relationship with the owner of a site in Balbriggan which is being earmarked for the development of a primary care centre.

The site had been “by Deputy Mary Harney when she was minister for health,” Quinn said, to raucous cheers from the government side of the house.

Read: Reilly to give Dáil explanation over primary care centres today

More: AIB to increase mortgage interest rates by 0.5pc

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