No documents submitted on promissory note deal: ECB

The Government has never submitted any documentation to the ECB on the renegotiation of the promissory notes, according to a member of the bank.

The director general of the Secretariat and Languages Services in the ECB, Pierre van der Haegen, said: “Having duly looked into this matter, we would like to inform you that the ECB did not receive any documents from the Irish Government on the renegotiation of the terms of the promissory notes.”

The Irish Examiner requested copies of any requests by the Government and any negotiating documents submitted to the ECB under the right of access to documents enshrined in EU treaties.

Micheal Noonan, the finance minister, deferred the promissory notes payment of €3.06bn on Mar 29 and replaced it with a long-term government bond backed by the Bank of Ireland.

Mr Noonan said Bank of Ireland may refinance the bond through the ECB.

“Put simply, €3.06bn will be settled by delivery to IBRC (the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) of a long-term Government bond with an equivalent fair value,” Mr Noonan told the Dáil.

“Ultimately, it is intended that this long-term Government bond will be financed for one year, on commercial terms, with Bank of Ireland, who may, in turn, re-finance the bond with the ECB.”

A spokesperson for the ECB said there was “no formal obligation on the Irish Government to (submit documents to the ECB) do this.”

The press office of the ECB pointed to a recent speech by its president, Mario Draghi, who said it was an Irish operation but that Ireland was expected to meet all of its obligations.

He said: “The ECB is not part of it, as it is the redemption of the promissory notes and a subsequent reduction in emergency liquidity assistance provided by the Central Bank of Ireland.

“Again it is of the utmost importance that the commitments of the Irish State are met in line with standing contracts and agreements.”

The Department of Finance said that a working group had been set up to work on the promissory notes.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance said: “A working group was set up to examine the promissory notes.

“The group has representatives from the European Commission, the ECB, and the IMF, and liases with officials from the Department of Finance.”


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