Ireland's finance minister will meet the president of the European Central Bank on Tuesday as part of a campaign to win European approval for a reduction in the cost of Dublin's 63 billion euros bank rescue package.
Ireland wants to take advantage of changes to the euro zone's rescue fund, the EFSF, to ease the burden of shoring up the country's banks and improve its prospects of exiting an EU-IMF bailout next year.
Michael Noonan's meeting with the ECB President Mario Draghi
at around 1500 GMT marks an acceleration of government efforts to win around all 27 members of the European Union and most crucially the ECB, which is keeping Irish banks afloat with over 100 billion euros in emergency funding.
Earlier on Tuesday, Noonan met EU's Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Oli Rehn in Brussels.
Ireland wants to use cheaper loans from the EFSF to refinance some 30 billion euros worth of IOUs pumped into the former Anglo Irish Bank, a failed lender at the heart of Ireland's financial crisis.
The coupon on the IOUs is currently 8.2 percent broadly equating to an interest bill of close to 17 billion euros over ten years, compared with an average rate of under four percent on EFSF borrowings.
Officials from Ireland and the country's so-called troika of lenders at the EC, the ECB and the IMF will complete a technical paper on how to cut the cost of the IOUs by the end of next month for European finance ministers to consider.
Tapping the EFSF for additional funds is politically sensitive in Europe given that Ireland is already set to receive 17.7 billion euros under its existing bailout from the fund and the risk that other European countries, such as Spain, would need funding too.
The IMF said last month, however, that Europe should consider additional support for Ireland to ensure it is able to return to market funding next year.
Ireland was forced to request 67.5 billion euros in loans from the EU and the IMF last year after reckless property lending left the country's banks with an 85 billion euros capital hole, most of it filled using taxpayer funds.
(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; editing by Ron Askew)