|International Monetary Fund 's Ajai Chopra, Deputy Director, European Department, is the IMF's head of mission to Ireland.
EU finance ministers are meeting in Brussels Sunday afternoon to approve an
expected €85bn EU-IMF bailout deal for Ireland.
Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan is in Brussels to finalise the terms of a
rescue package and a meeting of the Eurogroup, comprising finance ministers of
the Eurozone, is scheduled to be followed by
a meeting of finance ministers from all 27 EU member states.
It's reported that German and
French leaders Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, European Central Bank
president Jean-Claude Trichet, European Council president Herman Van
Rompuy and European Commission president José Manuel Barroso held
telephone conversations on the package earlier today.
Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for economic and monetary
affairs, said in remarks to reporters in Brussels: “We have a serious situation
and we have to do our utmost to protect the foundations of the economic
recovery and employment and today we shall make a very important
decisions to that effect.”
Irish government officials told the Financial Times that the €85bn loan, from the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and members of
the European Union, could extend to as much as nine years, compared with the three-year
loan provided to Greece.
The rescue package is expected to include about €50bn in fiscal support
over the next three years before Ireland returns to the
international debt markets and €35bn in capital for the banks.
The Cabinet met on Saturday evening for a briefing,
which included an update from the Governor of the
Central Bank Patrick Honohan on the talks with the
officials from the IMF, European Commission and the
European Central Bank.
The Government has this afternoon issued a statement
on the current state of play in negotiations for
financial aid with the European Union and the
International Monetary Fund. Here is the full, short
"The negotiations which have been
underway with representatives of the European
Commission, the ECB and the IMF are concluding
today. The Government met last night and were
briefed on the progress which had been made.
The Government decided to proceed
to conclude a Programme on that basis and
authorised the Minister for Finance to finalise
the negotiations at a meeting of the EU Finance
Ministers in Brussels this afternoon.
It is expected that the Programme
for assistance to Ireland will be adopted at
this Ministerial meeting. It is anticipated on
that basis that details of the agreement will be
published later this afternoon."