The revised terms of the Irish package will see the interest rate on loans cut by two percentage points, from 6 per cent to just less than 4 per cent. The package will provide potential annual savings of between €600 and €800 million. The deal also provides for greater flexibility on Ireland’s loan maturities, which can now be extended from seven years to fifteen years if required.
Enda Kenny welcomed the revised terms, saying, “We’ve achieved a substantial interest-rate reduction and greater flexibility in terms of the fund, without conditions attached,” as if there had been a great negotiating session and we had managed to avoid paying back some of the money to the French and German banks.
Remember Kenny and Noonan before the general election and how Kenny was going to “burn the bond-holders”?
And, despite reassurances by Kenny that Ireland did not have to make any concessions on its low corporate tax rate, the final conclusions of eurozone leaders “note Ireland’s willingness to participate constructively . . . in the structured discussions on tax policy issues.”
The president of the EU Council, Herman van Rompuy, was adamant following the summit, saying, “Private-sector involvement will be limited to Greece, and Greece only,” and that “we will not waver in defence of our common currency.”
Perhaps if we adopted the attitude of the Greek public and made our anger obvious, private-sector involvement could be extended to the Irish case. It may yet have to be!
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