Taoiseach says extension to bailout deal may be some time away

Extending Irish EU loans could save billions of euro

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he is hopeful that a deal to reduce the Irish bailout repayments can be reached but it may be some way off yet.

Agreement on extending the maturities on Ireland European Union loans has been reached in principal and will be discussed at a meeting of EU Finance Ministers today, It will be chaired by the Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

A deal on extending EU loans received by both Ireland and Portugal will be on the agenda.

Entended from 12 to 15 years

The proposals would see the length of time Ireland has to repay its debt extended from 12 years for most of the loans to 15 years. This would see a saving billions of euro and taking some of the pressure for harsh budgets off the government.

It is understood the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not be extend the maturities on its part of the bailout.

Speaking on his way into Government Buildings this morning the Taoiseach said a deal would be good news for the Irish taxpayer.

But he said it may be next month before agreement is reached.