Mitchell: Deal already done on Anglo promissory notes

Irish MEP Gay Mitchell said today that he believes agreement has already been reached behind the scenes in Europe to push out Ireland's payment of the Anglo promissory notes.

The Department of Finance has said that is not the case, however.

Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Mitchell said the European Central Bank has already effectively given the green light for a deal.

He said the EU authorities have to be careful about the timing of any announcement on Irish debt restructuring, however.

Mr Mitchell said: "The problem is that anything that is done in terms of new timing for payments, they're fearful that the Greeks and the Italians might say, you know: 'Could we have some new arrangement as well?'.

"But I think there's a very clear understanding, certainly in the Parliament and in the Commission, and I believe in the Central Bank as well, that it is untenable for Ireland to pay this money over such a short period."

Finance Minister Michael Noonan cautioned that there are still "legal hurdles" to overcome before any deal can be completed.

Minister Noonan has joined fellow EU Finance Ministers in Brussels again today for talks on the union's new banking supervisor.

The Minister said that he still feels a deal for Ireland is likely before the next payment date in Marc, however.

"The first step is to have the supervisory system in place, and then we'd be in a position to start talking about it," he said.

"But there is a commitment to Ireland and that commitment was reinforced in bilaterals between the Taoiseach and the German Chancellor and the French President."

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