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Ireland dissolves 'bad bank' in midnight debt move

Thursday - 2/7/2013, 6:00am  ET

SHAWN POGATCHNIK
Associated Press

DUBLIN (AP) -- Ireland's red-eyed lawmakers have voted to dissolve one of the country's "bad banks" in an emergency measure designed to pave the way for a new debt-repayment deal with the European Central Bank.

Lawmakers in both chambers of Ireland's parliament overwhelmingly voted to liquidate the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., or IBRC, at the conclusion of debates that started just after midnight and concluded just before 6 a.m. Thursday.

Ireland's head of state, President Michael D. Higgins, was summoned back from the start of a three-day visit to Italy to sign the bill into law.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan told lawmakers they had to approve the measure before Ireland's court system opened Thursday because of the risk that private creditors of the state-owned debt management bank would file lawsuits to block or complicate the bank's dismantling.

Ireland plans to transfer IBRC's property-based assets worth EUR12 billion ($17 billion) to the nation's other toxic-debt management bank, the National Asset Management Agency.


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