International Markets News Afternoon: Head of key European Parliament Committee says high Irish bailout interest rate 'spiteful'
By Finfacts Team
May 26, 2011 - 5:30 PM
Sharon Bowles MEP, chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, with Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, Brussels, March 22, 2011.
The chairperson of the European Parliament's key
Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee said today that she is outraged by the
interest rate demanded form Ireland in respect of the EU-IMF bailout loans.
The interest rate has fallen slightly from a
composite rate of 5.8% because of a change in IMF quotas.
British MEP Sharon Bowles said Ireland had
the recipe to respond to the economic and banking crisis but is being treated
harshly by its EU partners.
Bowles who was in Dublin today said Ireland had taken "one for the team"
by bailing out banks as demanded by the ECB, adding she could see no reason why
lending countries should turn a 3% profit.
"A lower interest rate would mean a faster recovery, which is surely in the
interests of the EU and the ECB as well as Ireland.
"Of the three countries in programs, Ireland is performing best in class, so to
suggest corporation tax measures in return for an interest rate reduction is
Bowles also supported calls for a medium-term financing facility for Irish
"Ireland would be helped if the ECB could give firmer commitment to medium
term funding rather than repeated rollovers every 14 days," she said. "Such measures would help prevent contagion from uncertainty
Earlier this month, Bowles accused some European
countries of "prevaricating" over the problems faced by their banks
during the current raft of stress tests.
Following a European Parliament debate on the banking stress tests, Bowles said
that while the stress tests have been improved under the European Banking
Authority, member states have engaged in prevarication to avoid vulnerable
issues their banks may face.
"It is about time the message sunk in that feeble political will is not the
answer to this crisis and makes solutions more expensive," she said in a
Not Crucial for European to Head IMF: Economist:
US Weekly Jobless Claims: The Department of Labor said today that in the
week ending May 21, the figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was
424,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of
414,000. The 4-week moving average was 438,500, a decrease of 1,750 from the
previous week's revised average of 440,250.
The number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending
May 14 was 3,690,000, a decrease of 46,000 from the preceding week's revised
level of 3,736,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,742,250, an increase of
7,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,734,500.
In New York Thursday, the Dow fell
41 points or 0.33% to 12,354.
The S&P 500 slid 0.18% and the
Nasdaq added 0.24%.