It’s official. European and IMF officials have convinced Ireland to apply for funds; the application has been approved; Ireland’s corporate tax rate is safe; and Reuters puts the size of the bail-out at about €85bn, attributing to a “senior EU source”. Negotiations on amounts and interest rates haven’t yet happened. Outside the eurozone, funds have also been offered by Sweden and the UK – the BBC reports the UK’s contribution to be about £7bn. All loans and funds are expected to be repaid.
Speaking in Brussels, EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said eurozone finance ministers welcomed the government’s application. “Providing assistance to Ireland is warranted to safeguard the financial stability in Europe,” he said. The ECB has issued a statement welcoming the move, BBC television reports, saying they are confident the aid will contribute to a more stable banking sector in Ireland.
Irish finance minister Brian Lenihan told RTE radio on Sunday afternoon that available funds would probably split into two: a loan to the government and a “very large contingent fund” for Irish banks, which won’t necessarily be drawn upon. The size of the latter would be “tens of billions” but “certainly will not be a three-figure sum [in billions]“. Read more