Noonan: Debt write-down was never an option

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said today a write-down of the Anglo debt was never an option.

Sinn Féin and a number of Independents have criticised yesterday's deal on the Anglo promissory note with the ECB, saying it will saddle future generations with even more debt.

Speaking this morning, Minister Noonan admitted he could not rule out a second bailout for Ireland, but market reaction to yesterday's deal is a good indication that they will lend to us again.

Responding to criticism that the Government did not seek a write-down, Minister Noonan said that was not realistic.

"The European Central Bank refused point-blank to give any reduction, not by one euro, on what they call 'official debt' - that's the debt owed to the European Central Bank," he said.

"That's their position as a matter of principle, and as a matter of law.

"So while everybody was aware that people would be looking for write-downs, it was never within the ambit of any possible negotiation."

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