Ireland made steps towards extending the time it has to pay back its bailout loans last night after euro zone finance ministers backed a proposal on the issue.
Finance ministers from all 27 EU states will consider the plan at a scheduled meeting in Brussels this morning, which is being chaired by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.
The extension of maturities on emergency loans provided to Ireland could make the country’s bonds more attractive to investors when it returns to the markets later this year.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny welcomed the news. Mr Kenny added: “There is good news in the sense of extending the maturity of the loans involved and therefore easing further our way back to the markets and reducing our borrowing requirement in the future.
“Clearly the principle has been accepted. It will be discussed this morning but as commissioner Olli Rehn pointed out if arrangements are to be put in place they will be put in place next month in Dublin.”
Mr Noonan also welcomed the proposed deal in Brussels this morning, “There is this agreement in principle that work should continue on this. The troika would be asked to do the work on it and it would apply if agreed to Portugal and Ireland.
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