Responding to reports today that Minister Michael Noonan said he would not rule out a deal being done on the €3.1 billion promissory notes due on the 31st March, Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that the Government should not make this payment and tell the ECB that that is the deal.
Deputy Doherty said the Government should not be waiting on the sidelines for a deal to be handed to them, but that they should be standing up for the rights of Irish taxpayers.
“This Government cannot pay the €3.1 billion due to IBRC, formerly Anglo and Irish Nationwide, on 31st March. The state cannot afford to hand over money which will go to the Irish Central Bank to be burnt. Sinn Féin has repeatedly highlighted the unjust nature of this debt and called for the Government to inform the ECB that Ireland cannot and will not carry this debt.
“The Government at this point needs to tell EU institutions that this is the deal. We should not be waiting for a deal to be struck on lengthening the timeframe or whatever other hare-brained idea the Minister has which still boils down to this debt being carried by the Irish people.
“This Government needs to stand up for its own taxpayers and citizens in the same way that other European Governments have done for their countries. The current Government and the last have adopted a policy of the class pet when it comes to Europe and it has not worked. We have received no help in bailing out the banks. We have implemented austerity for years and we've been given a loan that has conditions attached which attempt to dictate the future of our economy for years ahead. Current policy is not working. It is time for the Irish Government to stand up and be counted.”