Friday 23 February 2018

We can expect IMF 'conditions' for next 10 years

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

THE country will be paying back loans from the IMF for a decade, its European boss said last night.

During this time, strict conditions will be applied to the country, with firm targets being set and reviewed every three months, Ajai Chopra said.

Over the next four years, Ireland will have €67.5bn made available from a group of international sources.

The international rescue package will come from the IMF and from member states of the EU through the financial stability fund and bilateral loans from Britain, Sweden and Denmark.

The interest rate on the IMF loans will be 3.1pc, with the average interest rate on the loans from the EU coming in at 5.8pc.

The overall average rate on the foreign loans will be 4.7pc.

Mr Chopra praised the Irish authorities for being very "proactive" in finding solutions to get the economy back on track with stronger growth and a healthier banking system.

"This is a programme that is largely designed by the Irish authorities. We are augmenting what they did already. And the thing that has impressed me most in this regard is the sense of common purpose, the thinking ahead and making a contribution to the solutions," he said.

Mr Chopra did not go into whether the EU or the IMF was looking for Ireland to raise the corporation tax rate.

"It is not a part of the programme," he said.

The Government has been trumpeting the defence of the 12.5pc corporation tax rate, even though it is not clear if it was ever on the table in the negotiations.

Irish Independent

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