Dail approves EU/IMF bailout
Published 15/12/2010 | 16:18
The Government today won a crucial vote to accept the €85bn bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
The Dail narrowly passed a motion to secure the loan thanks to the support of a number of independent TDs.
The coalition and opposition had been embroiled in a tough two-hour debate with warnings that a new government would attempt to renegotiate the terms of the deal.
Fine Gael finance spokesman Michael Noonan said the deal was an obscenity for taxpayers.
"The direct cause of the banking crisis is the Government's banking policy, which has led directly to the EU/IMF bailout which we are now discussing," he said.
"The Government's negotiations have led to a very bad deal. The deal needs to be re-negotiated and Fine Gael will look for a mandate to do so."
Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said: "This is a bad deal for Ireland. And because it is a bad deal for Ireland, we will vote against it here and in the forthcoming election we will seek a mandate to re-negotiate it."
The €85bn loan will see the EU and IMF pump in enough money to save the banks, keep the country running and ensure the Government does not have to return to the international money markets for a year.
Some €35bn of the total is set aside for the banks with €10bn being drawn down right away and the rest held in an overdraft or contingency facility.
The rest of the money, €50bn, is set aside to keep the State running on a day-to-day basis, such is the extent of the economic crisis.
The Government is also putting in €17.5bn from the National Pension Reserve Fund.
Another €3.8bn has been pledged by Britain.
Small numbers of protesters from trade union groups, workers' rights and Sinn Fein gathered outside Leinster House as the debate and vote took place.
Meanwhile, new rules on reducing the size and scale of Irish banks were also being debated by politicians under the Credit Institutions Bill.
The radical rules will impose so-called burden-sharing on global money markets, with some subordinated lenders forced to take a hit on loans made to Irish banks.
Finance ministers will be given the power to parachute special managers into banks to oversee reforms. They will be allowed to transfer loans and deposits out of some institutions to make them smaller. They will also have the power to sack directors and overrule shareholders.
The Government also hopes the legislation will cement Finance Minister Brian Lenihan's plan to make state support for Allied Irish Banks conditional on the scrapping of €40m bankers' bonuses.