The government needs to step up its negotiating efforts with the ECB in an order to secure a good deal for Ireland on the promissory notes before the end of March, according to Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after releasing a copy of a letter Fianna Fáil sent to the ECB and the response from Mario Draghi.
Deputy McGrath stated, “Fianna Fáil wrote to the ECB President setting out the reasons why we believe a deal must be done on the promissory notes and to explain the importance of this deal for the Irish people who have sacrificed so much in recent years in an effort to secure Ireland’s recovery.
“Unfortunately, the government has begun to sound increasingly desperate in its efforts to secure a deal and doesn’t seem to have a clear strategy for the eight remaining weeks to the end of March when the next payment falls due.
“For example, when I asked Minister Noonan in a Dáil question last week who is doing the negotiations on Ireland’s behalf, he said that ‘officials from my department, the NTMA and the Central Bank of Ireland have been involved in these negotiations on Ireland’s behalf’. Rather than relying on officials to do the negotiating, Minister Noonan needs to have as many direct face to face meetings as are necessary with the ECB President over the next eight weeks to get this deal over the line. This direct dialogue between the government and the ECB needs to start immediately.
“Fianna Fáil wants to see a deal done which will make future budgets easier on the Irish people. That is why we took the step of writing to the ECB in support of a deal being achieved. The government now needs to up its game and engage in direct negotiations with the ECB on behalf of the Irish people.”