Ireland calls for discount on debts to aid recovery

IRELAND yesterday called on the EU to provide it with debt relief, arguing that the country had shouldered a disproportionate burden within the Eurozone during earlier crises.

Finance minister Michael Noonan told journalists: “We have borne a disproportionate share of protecting the European banking system… The overall burden of debt is going to impede growth.”

He also said it would be difficult to persuade Irish voters to back any changes to the EU treaties, given the current financial pain seemingly imposed by Brussels.

Noonan said in an earlier statement that he is considering applying to the courts for an order forcing losses of up to 100 per cent on the face value of the subordinated debt, effectively wiping out junior bondholders.

The move would form part of Ireland’s efforts to raise €350m in capital by the end of this year.