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Ireland Seeks To Repay Imf Loans As Borrowing Costs Down

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Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan begins a long week of lobbying across Europe this week.

He’s starting today in Brussels where he will ask EU partners if the Republic can pay off its debts to the International Monetary Fund first, before tackling its obligations to Europe.

Henry McDonald, Ireland Correspondent, has the details:

Noonan and the Fine Gael-Labour coalition believe that if Ireland is allowed to repay the IMF bailout bill first before paying back loans from the European Central Bank it could result in annual savings of €375m to the Irish Exchequer.

His logic is that with Ireland now enjoying low borrowing costs on the international markets -a sign of renewed global investors’ confidence in the Republic - Dublin should be allowed to go first to the private markets to pay off the IMF side of the debt. The IMF debt burden is greater than that Ireland owes to the ECB.

The Irish Finance Minister’s marathon round of meetings includes one with Mario Draghi, the ECB’s chief ahead of a meeting of all the EU finance ministers in Milan on Friday.

The EU’s response to Noonan’s request will show if the praise European partners have been lavishing on Ireland for accepting austerity (the “poster boys of Europe and all that in contrast with recalcitrant Greeks and Spaniards) was just for the optics.

A deal for Noonan is critical too as he charts the October budget which will be crucial in determining the fortunes of the current government with an election less than two years away.

The recent surge of money into eurozone government bonds has driven down the yield, or interest rate, on Ireland’s 10-year debt to just 1.65%. That’s much less than the cost cost of its rescue loans.

And Irish two-year bond yields are negative, meaning investors are now paying for the privilege of holding Ireland’s short-term debt.

Ireland is all fixed. What a relief.

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Allsops having another big auction of irish houses this month...a nice estate of 10 detached new builds is up for sale...guided at 250k euro/25k apiece.

Cheaper than Poland. Probably.

Dunno why all the poles come here and not Ireland.

Ireland they can get a nice house for peanuts. England they end up living in some Islamic near ghetto.

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Still tens of thousands not paying a penny towards their mortgages and have not been for years. There is still such a glut of property on the market the banks know they won't be able to sell them. They keep the debtors in there and harass them for whatever they can get.

I guess when these people die the banks will have had a life times of whatever rent they can extract + the house back.

The Irish should have kicked the banks out, not the English!

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