Hayes: Spanish deal not better than ours

Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes

Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes has insisted that Spain has not received a better deal on its bailout package than Ireland.

Markets across Europe and Asia have this morning given the €100bn deal the thumbs-up, with the value of the euro rising to a two-week high of just under 1 dollar and 27 cents.

Full details of the Spanish rescue are yet to be agreed but because the funds are confined to re-capitalisation of banks, Spain will escape some of the economic conditions attached to Ireland’s deal and will not be subject to the same monitoring from the troika.

However Minister Hayes said the conditions under which Spain can access the funds are the same as Ireland's, and that their austerity programme may even be tougher considering they must reach a 3% deficit by 2014, while we have until 2015 to do so.

Fianna Fáil’s spokesman on finance, Michael McGrath, said the deal was "very disappointing" because "it reinforces the principle in the eurozone that the taxpayers have to take on the losses in the banking system", while Sinn Féin said the deal shows there is one set of conditions for Spain, and another for Ireland.

Minister Hayes said the Government's eye is still firmly on the prize of a renegotiation of the promissory note structure of the Anglo bailout.

"I'm confident that we can get to a better place on the promissory note," he said.

"And that would certainly be the game-changer in terms of making our debt more sustainable and also allowing us to enter the markets (sooner).

"That is the issue that we have always focussed on."

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