Kenny warns ‘tough’ bank bailout deal talks may drag into next year

Tough negotiations aimed at cutting a deal on the rest of Ireland’s bank bailout debt are likely to drag into next year, the Taoiseach has admitted.

Fresh from an agreement over the Anglo promissory notes, Enda Kenny has warned that the bid to recapitalise the country’s €32bn bank debt from EU rescue funds will be a slow process.

Getting European leaders to agree that “legacy debt” should be included in the proposed €500bn European Stability Mechanism is the next major focus for the Government’s attention.

Mr Kenny said he never expected a deal would be cut by this June and said the talks would be tough.

“There won’t be a deal by June. The mechanics of the structure will be available by June. The understanding was that you were never going to arrive at a decision until you had a mechanism in place.

“Mr Noonan is conducting the talks, and they have already commissioned a working paper in regard to the principle being accepted, not finalised, of a considerable extension of the maturities to be given to Portugal and Ireland.

“Hopefully we will put together the structure by June, but in reality it will not become effective until very late this year or 2014, and I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge of the negotiations.”

He was speaking as he welcomed Ebay’s announcement that it was to 450 jobs in Dundalk.

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