Life lines for Irish banks

IRELAND'S struggling banks could soon be helped by way of eurozone debt relief if EU finance ministers agree to ease the debt burden later this year, this with the long-term aim of making the Republic a "success story" once again.

The decision was taken last week in Brussels, and has been described as a "positive" move for Ireland, where banks are currently in debt to the tune of over €60 billion.

October has been named as the deadline for the final decision on whether the financial relief will be made available, and proposals on the move will be submitted to ministers by the European Commission by September.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Last month, it was decided that the Republic's bank bailout should be re-opened, and relief offered to eurozone member states following the introduction of a new EU-wide bank regulator.

However, with this unlikely to be in place by October, the date of the bank relief decision aid to Irish banks could take the form of a revised "promissory note" scheme.

Speaking of the proposed deal, European Com­missioner Olli Rehn said: "It is better not to go in very concrete detail at this stage because we have technical negotiations going on for the moment.

"Let these negotiations between the Irish authorities and the European partners move forward. I'm confident that we will find a solution that, as the statement today says will help to improve debt sustainability of Ireland and thus make Ireland a success story again."