EC plan will put €98m a year in State's coffers
THE Government will have an extra €98m every year until 2013 if new proposals from Brussels are approved.
The boost to the country's finances could come after the European Commission said yesterday it would raise the EU's contribution to jointly financed development projects for Ireland and five other troubled countries, offering them hundreds of millions of euro in additional funding.
The EU executive said it wanted to increase the level of EU funding of projects in Ireland, Greece and Portugal, as well as in Romania, Latvia and Hungary, to help boost growth in those countries.
It proposed raising the EU's co-financing rate on various structural projects to 95pc from 85pc, meaning the recipient countries would only have to provide one-20th of the funding.
The change would give Greece, which is struggling to emerge from recession and to repay its huge debts, an additional €879m that the EU would provide, rather than the Greek government, for financing projects.
For Portugal it would be €629m, for Ireland €98m, for Hungary €308m, Romania €714m and for Latvia €255m.
The size of the EU's structural funds in each country in the period to 2013 would not increase, but their governments would need to contribute less cash of their own to get the remainder of the cost of the project from the EU.
The commission's proposal has to be approved by EU ministers and the European parliament. The commission hopes this will happen by the end of this year. (Additional reporting Reuters)