Tuesday 21 May 2019

We may have to put €1bn into Greek rescue fund

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Ireland is set to have to pay about €1bn in various funds as this country's portion of the next Greek bailout.

The estimate came from the Dr Donal Donovan, former deputy of the International Monetary Fund, and until recently a member of the Government's Fiscal Advisory Council.

His comments came as the Taoiseach, on a visit to Rome for talks with the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, said he was hopeful a deal could be done between the eurozone and Greece this weekend.

In his appraisal of the ongoing crisis, Dr Donovan said the latest surprisingly hard-hitting offer from Athens carried a number of doubts including a suspicion that many promised provisions may never be acted upon. But he said difficulties can be overcome to win necessary Greek parliamentary approval on one hand and approval from German parliamentarians as the country which will pay the bulk of the bill.

Speaking on RTÉ's 'Today With Seán O'Rourke', Dr Donovan noted that Ireland had already loaned Greece €350m as part of the first bailout in 2010. There was no Irish payment for the second Greek bailout in 2012 as Ireland was itself in a bailout.

But if a deal can be done between the 18 other eurozone nations and Greece, Ireland would have to pay its share. Dr Donovan estimated this could be some €400m-€500m via the ECB; another €200m to the IMF; and some €300m to the Greek bailout fund.

The Taoiseach spoke positively about the likely outcome of ongoing negotiations.

"I'm happy to note that [Greek] Prime Minister Tsipras has now tabled their proposals," Mr Kenny said.

"I'd like to think that while the time ahead will be difficult for Greece that it will have the support of Europe."

Irish Independent

Also in Business