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Government and EU leaders must move on promissory notes now – Pearse Doherty

2 March, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Responding to reports tonight that the IMF has urged the EU and ECB to restructure the Anglo Irish promissory notes, Sinn Féin TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that there was a window of less than four weeks to get a deal done on the notes and potentially save the state from economic ruination.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The Anglo Irish Promissory notes are due to cost this state €3.1 billion in less than four weeks time. The total amount of the promissory notes is 20% of the overall state debt. Sinn Féin has always contested that this was an unfair debt and that it must be removed. In fact, we put it on the agenda, while the Government was happy to continue paying it, calling it a legacy Fianna Fáil debt.

“I welcome the IMF announcement tonight. This money will be paid from Irish state coffers to be effectively burnt at the central bank. The Government toying with interest rate restructing is not an option, nor is it relevant. The promissory notes must be written off in full.

“As pointed out by the IMF, there is still a chance that Ireland can return to the sovereign bond markets in 2013. What is holding us back and keeping our bond rates at high levels is the unacceptable amount of bank debt that has been forced onto the state’s account sheets. If this Government continues to pay out the promissory notes it is sending us down the route of economic ruination. It will force us into a second bailout because we will not be able to access bond markets. It’s a sorry day when the IMF is pointing out a route to economic salvation and our own Government is unable to come to the same conclusion on its own.

“I am calling, as I have done repeatedly, on the Government to get a deal done with the EU and ECB on the promissory notes in the interest of the Irish people, our economy and the wider European economy.” ENDS

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