German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he is “totally confident” Ireland won’t need a second bailout and reiterated that the country has a “special case” on legacy bank debt.
Schaeuble, speaking to reporters in Dublin today after a meeting with Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, said that while sending a “wrong signal” to investors must be avoided, Germany would be “as supportive” to the nation as it has been in the past.
“It is a very specific situation in Ireland,” Schaeuble said. “Ireland is a special case. On the other hand we agree that we have to avoid any announcement that could be misunderstood in the way that everyone all over the world is thinking that the actual program for Ireland doesn’t work well. It works well.”
Ireland is pushing for a deal to ease the burden of its 64 billion euro ($83 billion) bank-rescue bill as it seeks to exit an international aid program next year. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this month that Ireland had a special case, after earlier ruling out a retrospective capitalization of banks.
Schaeuble said today that the group of euro-area finance ministers will take Ireland’s special case into account.
The country is also negotiating with the European Central Bank to replace about 30 billion euros of so-called promissory notes used to bail out the former Anglo Irish Bank Corp. with long-term government securities. Schaeuble declined to comment on that issue.
When asked whether he would agree to Ireland getting a retrospective bank deal, Schaeuble said “there have been some misunderstandings.”
“A lot of people, not in Ireland, maybe have had some not realistic expectation on the issue of direct recapitalization of banks after the declaration, the announcement of the meeting of the heads of states and governments in late June,” he said. “Now we are strongly working together to deliver the preconditions for European banking supervision.”