Quinn: Ireland expected to benefit from any EU deal on bank debt

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has said that he expects any Europe-wide deal on bank debt will be applied retrospectively to Ireland.

His comments follow speculation that in the future, European rescue funds may deal directly with banks that get into difficulty, as opposed to linking the state to the banks, as was the case in Ireland.

Speaking to Newstalk today, Minister Quinn said that decision was an extraordinary one which has been disastrous for Ireland, adding that he expects the situation may change in the future.

"Because the previous government disastrously - in our view in the Labour Party - hitched the bank debt to the sovereign debt (that) really plunged us all into the crisis that we now find ourselves in.

"If there is a Europe-wide measure to deal with the banks, my expectoration - and it is an expectation, not a guarantee - is that that would be open to us to avail of retrospectively.

"But the details of that will have to be negotiated by Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin.

Meanwhile Minister Quinn said new French President Francois Hollande shares the Government's desire to add more emphasis to growth strategies when it comes to formulating European policy.

Saying that President Hollande wants more efficient use of EU structural funds, the minster denied that the Government was jumping on the bandwagon of the new regime in Paris.

"He has hitched his wagon to ours, actually," Minister Quinn said of President Hollande's insistence that a growth package for Europe be drawn up.

"They (the new French administration) have been saying pretty much what we (the Government) had been saying for the last year.

"Yes, we have to balance our books.

"Yes, we have to run a tidy ship like any family or any household - it's common sense.

"But we need economic activity to generate growth."

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