Olli Rehn: Irish Bail-Out Ensures Eurozone Stability
EU Finance Commissioner Olli Rehn has welcomed the news about the agreed assistance for Ireland, saying this would help preserve the stability of the eurozone - the group of 16 nations using the euro as their common currency.
Speaking in Brussels, Olli Rehn said that experts from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF would prepare a three-year package of loans by the end of the month.
European and IMF officials agreed on Sunday to help bail out Ireland with loans to tackle its banking and budget crisis, stabilize financial markets and prevent loss of confidence in other euro zone members, notably Portugal and Spain.
Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said the amount would be less than EUR 100 B. According to reports the bailout package is expected to total EUR 80 to 90 B. The UK and Sweden have also offered direct loans.
Irish PM Brian Cowen said that the government would be publishing a four-year budget plan that would restructure the banking industry and banks will be made smaller.
The global financial crisis has dealt the Irish Republic a hard blow. The government has responded with deep spending cuts and costly bail-outs of the banking sector.
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