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The recent agreement reached on our banking debt in addition to last week’s bond sales are very welcome and positive developments says David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East.

“The agreement reached by the Taoiseach and other EU leaders at the summit in Brussels at the end of June should be viewed as a major step forward for us. We are now breaking the link between bank debt and public finances which will allow us to get a much better deal which will ultimately benefit the Irish taxpayer.

“While the details of the deal will need to be worked out over the next couple of months, work by Minister Noonan at EU Finance Minister level in Brussels now begins. Minister Noonan will be focussed on getting the best deal possible which will help us return to the bond markets next year as planned and put us on sustainable footing to return to growth.

“Another positive move in our recovery was last Thursday’s auction on the debt markets of three month Government treasury bills. This was the first time Ireland has returned to the marking in almost two years. The interest and demand generated from the sale of €500 million worth of bonds is a clear signal from the markets that the efforts of the Irish people being made to bring our finances back into line are being recognised.

“We want to exit our bailout programme and get back to the money markets as quickly as possible to regain full control of our public finances and the bond auction is a step in the right direction. The yes vote in the Stability Treaty and the recent EU summit decision on bank debt are all having a positive impact on our international reputation. Our bond yields are coming down, which means that investors have faith in the ability of the Irish economy to recover.

“The Government’s immediate focus now is on securing a fairer deal on bank debt which will be progressed by Minister Noonan at the Finance Ministers summit in Brussels. A fairer deal on bank debt coupled with a renewed focus on stimulus and growth will provide further impetus for our economic recovery.