EU official expects lower interest rate for Irish bailout

09:10, May 11, 2011      

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The European Union (EU)'s top economic official said on Tuesday that he expects the interest rate charged to Ireland on its bailout loans would be reduced in order to help the country get out of the debt crisis.

"It is important that in defining the interest rate, debt sustainability is firmly taken into account and therefore the commission already some time ago proposed a reduction of the interest rate for Ireland in order to help Ireland overcome its debt burden," EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told reporters on the sidelines of a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Rehn said that he expects an agreement on Ireland's interest rate could be reached "shortly."

EU finance ministers were scheduled to hold a monthly meeting on Monday and Tuesday next week, with the adjustment of bailout terms for Ireland on the agenda.

Ireland is currently charged more for its 67.5-billion-euro (96. 9-billion-dollar) bailout loans from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) than Greece, after Athens secured a reduction of around one percentage point in the interest rate in March.

But Dublin has so far failed to win a similar favor because it refuses to raise its ultra-low corporate tax as demanded by Germany and France.

Source: Xinhua
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