Tánaiste: Time running out to agree promissory note deal

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said today that talks on renegotiating the payment of the Anglo Irish Bank promissory notes are now at a critical stage.

The Government is due to pay another €3.1bn instalment by the end of the March unless a deal is reached with the European Central Bank.

Minister Gilmore said that last night's indications that Ireland will be allowed extend the repayment schedule on loans it received from the EFSF is a welcome development.

He said time is running out, however.

"We are now at a critical stage of the discussions with the ECB on the promissory note," he said.

"Time is running out on the period of time that we have to conclude those discussions, and yesterday's decision is something that's very welcome."

Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes said that if a deal is agreed, Ireland could be in line to save billions of euro on our bailout costs.

"Until there's a very thorough technical assessment of the total involved, it's impossible to give an exact figure, but we're talking in the billions," he said.

"Until that is known, probably in the March period, I'm not going to speculate.

"The bigger prize, quite frankly, is if by stretching the payments back and stretching the maturity, I think it will very much help our position in terms of floating the debt position on the international money markets."

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