FRANKFURT (MNI) – Ireland needs more time to repay central bank
emergency assistance, European Central Bank Governing Council member
Patrick Honohan said in an interview with German daily Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung, released over the weekend.

The Central Bank of Ireland, which Honohan heads, is owed about E31
billion it indirectly loaned the Irish government during the crisis. The
government needs more time to repay, Honohan said.

The repayments, due in annual installments of E3.1 billion over a
ten-year period, come “at the wrong point in time” and make it difficult
for the country to issue bonds as it did before the crisis, the central
bank governor said.

Therefore, he urged that the repayment period be “significantly

If possible, an agreement with the ECB, which has thus far resisted
such an extension, should be reached by the end of March, since the next
installment is due then, Honohan said.

–Frankfurt bureau tel.: +49-69-720142. Email:

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