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Rate cut on the cards -- Barroso

PRESIDENT of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (right) said that Ireland will get a discount on the interest rate it pays on €40bn of EU loans and all member states should share responsibility for the crisis.

Mr Barroso outlined the importance of adopting a "spirit of solidarity with all other member states".

"We can't impose costs which are very, very difficult for our Greek or Irish citizens to pay, but we also have to look at the substance of the debt and how it is to be managed," he said. "The challenge we need to solve is our economic renewal," he said.

Mr Barroso noted that there was some opposition to the common consolidated corporation tax base in some quarters -- which would bring Ireland in line with other European nations -- and he said that the commission believed it was important for the completion of the single market.

Separately economics commissioner Ollie Rehn told Irish MEPs that the commission had confidence in the results of bank stress tests announced last week.

During the private meeting, Irish members of the European Parliament told Mr Rehn that Irish taxpayers could not bear the burden of both the public finances restructuring and the restructuring of the banks.

It's unlikely a rate decision will be made when finance ministers meet in Budapest this week and a further round of talks in May is expected to yield better results.