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Draghi evasive on Irish loan pay-back

Friday, September 05 12:05:16

Concerns are mounting over the Irish Government's plan to potentially save many millions by repaying its bailout loans early.

When directly asked if he backed Ireland's plan to pay back its bailout loans early, ECB boss Mario Draghi was evasive.

This question was put to him at his press conference yesterday: "You're due to meet the Irish finance minister next Tuesday. Ireland wants to repay the IMF portion of its IMF loan from its bailout early. Are the European lenders comfortable with taking on the risk, the entire risk, of Ireland repaying its loans?"

His answer was: " Well we take note of this. We will examine it in the Governing Council. And we'll certainly monitor very, very closely what is being done with the sale of assets so that the, what we call, monetary financing concerns are being properly and significantly addressed. That's the response to the second question."

Mr Draghi was referring to Ireland's promissory note deal. Specifically, the Irish Central Bank's obligation to offload the bonds it swapped for the Anglo Irish promissory notes as part in February last year.

The deal is estimated to have saved the country up to E20 billion in borrowing costs.

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