Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (52, 53, 54)

Micheál Martin

Question:

52 Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he or his officials discussed President Hollande’s proposal of jointly guaranteed Eurobonds with French officials; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26440/12]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

56 Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he discussed Eurobond projects with Chancellor Merkel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28965/12]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

78 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his position on Eurobonds as outlined at the recent informal summit of EU leaders in Brussels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26282/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 52, 56 and 78 together.

The European Commission published a discussion document in November 2011 on options for Eurobonds (which it called Stability Bonds). It put forward three options:

(i) the full substitution of Stability Bond issuance for national issuance, with joint and several guarantees;

(ii) the partial substitution of Stability Bond issuance for national issuance, with joint and several guarantees, and

(iii) the partial substitution of Stability Bond issuance for national issuance, with several but not joint guarantees.

Eurobonds are one of a number of funding possibilities that have been suggested in the light of the need to help revitalize European economies, at all levels from the funding of Member States to easing access to credit for SMEs. However, it should be noted that there is no formal proposal on Eurobonds under discussion at EU level.

It should also be noted that the introduction of Eurobonds, in whatever form, would not reduce the need to get the Government finances under control and to reduce the debt to a manageable level and, in fact, the introduction of any form of pooled debt issuance by Member States is likely to be conditional on an enhanced level of fiscal and economic integration in order to protect the interests of Member States generally.