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Thursday 22 February 2018

IMF deal cannot be revisited, says Lenihan

Aine Kerr and Fionnan Sheahan

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan last night attacked Fine Gael claims they could negotiate a better interest rate on the IMF bailout as having "absolutely no foundation".

The Government is due to hold a vote on the international rescue package tomorrow, which Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Sinn Fein will vote against.

The outcome of the vote on a motion endorsing the deal will have no effect whatsoever on the Government's acceptance of the joint IMF-EU €85bn bailout. The coalition is expected to win the vote with the backing of a number of independents.

Mr Lenihan said the terms of the agreement were agreed and this was confirmed by European Commissioner Olli Rehn.

"The agreements cannot be renegotiated. That's clear. The interest rate is not negotiable," he said.

But Mr Lenihan conceded there was room for what he described as "compositional changes" after 2011.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador Dan Rooney said the retention of the 12.5pc corporation tax rate would retain businesses that were in the country.

Irish Independent

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