Reuters International

Ireland's Minister for Finance Michael Noonan displays a copy of the Budget on the steps of Government Buildings in Dublin. October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton


DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan is likely to be reappointed to his position if, as expected, his Fine Gael party forms a new minority government, a senior government source said on Sunday.

Acting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny took a major step towards forming a government after nine weeks of deadlock on Friday when he secured the agreement of the country's second largest party to facilitate a minority administration.

Kenny just needs the support of six more lawmakers outside his party to reach the 58 required to pass legislation and could be in a position to be re-elected prime minister and name a new cabinet by next week.

Noonan, one of the longest-serving members of the euro zone's group of finance ministers, has suffered from ill health over the past two years but was a key part of the Fine Gael negotiation team that finalised the government framework deal last week.

He reiterated last month that he would be willing to serve again in government if Kenny asked him to and one of his first tasks would be to decide whether to go ahead with a stock market flotation of state-owned Allied Irish Banks this year.

The sale of a 25 percent stake in AIB would be one of Europe's biggest bank floatations since the 2009 financial crisis. Noonan said last month that a final call on the date would be made in the early days of the new government.

A number of newspapers also reported on Sunday that Noonan was expected to be reappointed.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Gareth Jones)


 Reuters International