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EU may cut interest rates on loan to Ireland

03-01-2011 10:53 BJT

BRUSSELS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) will discuss cutting interest rates on loans offered to Ireland as the bloc seeks a comprehensive package to deal with the debt crisis, a top EU official said on Monday.

"Pricing policy, I am referring to the interest rates, is one key issue here which will be discussed in the context of the comprehensive strategy of the European Union," Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, told reporters at a news conference.

"I expect that this issue of pricing policy will be looked at from the overall European perspective of safeguarding financial stability in the euro area and ensuring debt sustainability of all its members," he said.

The EU approved an aid package totaling 85 billion euros (113 billion U.S. dollars) to debt-crippled Ireland in November last year. The loans carry an average interest rate of 5.8 percent. Some economists said that the interest rate was too high for the country's debt to be sustainable.

Enda Kenny, whose party has won Ireland's parliamentary election over the weekend, said that the new government will seek to renegotiate the terms of the bailout package with the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

At the summit on February 4, EU leaders agreed to adopt a comprehensive anti-crisis package at their summit on March 24-25. Details of the package are still under discussion.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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