Gilmore refuses to comment on 'Govt will fall if debt deal fails' report

The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has refused to comment on reports that he told German chancellor Angela Merkel the Fine Gael-Labour coalition would not survive without a deal on the promissory notes.

Pressure is intensifying to secure a deal on Ireland's bank debt before the end of March, when the next €3.1bn payment is due.

The European Central Bank recently rejected the Government's preferred option of replacing the Anglo promissory note with a long-term bond.

The Government is understood to be increasing pressure at EU level to secure a deal.

Eamon Gilmore said the issue was now at a crucial stage, and that the Government was "seeking to secure the best deal possible for the Irish Government and the Irish taxpayer".

On whether failure to secure a deal would topple the Government, he said: "The future of the Irish Government is a matter for the Irish Government and the Irish people."

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