Eurogroup move a step in right direction but more to do: Doherty
Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has welcomed the progress on Ireland’s debt agreed in Brussels last night but says more substantive issues remain.
He said: “I welcome the progress agreed on looking at extending maturities in Ireland’s EFSF loans. A similar deal on our EFSM loans would also be welcome. The admission that restructuring is required is to be welcomed and hopefully a focus on growth and jobs and less on arbitrary austerity targets can now be put in place.
“I hope this move marks the beginning of a restructuring of our debt to move to a sustainable approach that lifts the burden of taxpayers and working people in Ireland. The move to restructuring shows that the EU’s original bailout programme was not enough on its own to allow Ireland return to the markets.
“There are more substantive issues that remain though. Minister Noonan needs to keep on pushing for a deal that actually shifts the burden of private debt from citizens.
“There is no indication that this deal will include any interest rate holiday for Ireland. Only a few months ago Greece achieved a ten-year interest holiday. This is something that would have a real, direct impact on people’s lives but it appears it is has not been achieved. We will examine the details of any agreement to see what has been really achieved.
“The fact is that without a reduction in our interest rates or an interest holiday, as secured by Greece and as called for consistently by Sinn Féin, not a single red cent will be saved by the Irish taxpayer during the lifetime of this government.
“I am also concerned at the apparent lack of progress on the issue of retrospective recapitalisation of our legacy debt.” ends