Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has quelled British hopes to renegotiate a controversial deal capping bankers' bonuses. Noonan sees no room for changes at a meeting of EU finance ministers.
Stressing that the Irish EU presidency struck the "best possible compromise" with the European Parliament, Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan said Tuesday that there wasn't any room left for Britain to renegotiate the deal on capping bankers' bonuses.
As EU Finance Ministers meet in Brussels Tuesday, the issue of curbing the annual bonuses of Europe's bankers has taken center stage.
Under the proposed legislation, bankers' bonuses would be limited to one year's base salary, and double that amount if a large majority of a bank's shareholders agreed. The measure is meant to avoid excessive risk-taking among bankers, which has been held responsible for causing the 2008 financial crisis.
While many EU countries support legislation capping bonuses, British officials have expressed reservations, fearing the measure would hurt its City of London financial hub.
Michael Noonan noted that he was very aware of the British position, adding, however, that there was very little further that Ireland, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, could do.
"We pushed the negotiations [with the EU parliament] to quite a degree ... so there isn't any more room left really," he said at the beginning of the meeting Tuesday.
The capping of bankers' bonuses is part of a package of financial laws to be discussed at the meeting. However, the ministers won't hold a formal vote on the issue because some technical details of the law must still be worked out.
uhe/mkg (AP, Reuters, dpa)