News / Europe

    European Nations Agree on $113 Billion Bailout Plan for Ireland

    Jennifer Glasse

    European Nations have agreed on a plan to help debt-ridden Ireland in an effort to shore up the euro and help Ireland address its banking crisis. The deal is worth $113 billion.

    The money comes in a combination of loans and transfers from Ireland's pension reserves.

    Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen says the agreement is necessary for the nation and its people. "The final agreed program represents the best available deal for Ireland. It allows us to move forward with secure funding for our essential public services, for our welfare state and for the most vulnerable members of society, who depend on them, and it provides Ireland with vital time and space to successfully and conclusively address the unprecedented problems that we've been dealing with since this global economic crisis began," he said.

    The loans range between three to seven-and-a-half years, and come from a combination of the International Monetary Fund, European nations, the European commission and bi-lateral agreements with Britain, Denmark and Sweden. Jean Claude Juncker heads the euro-area finance ministers' group. "The financial package of the program will cover financing needs up to 85 billion, including 10 billion euros for immediate recapitalisation measures, 25 billion on a contingency basis for banking system supports and 50 billion covering budget financing needs," he said.

    Greece received a three-year $146 billion bail-out in May to salvage its economy. Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan says his nation got a similar deal. "The terms of the interest rate are exactly the same as the terms of Greece, and where that leaves the four year plan is in fact in a better funding position, just as far as state is concerned, as far as actual 50 billion that is earmarked for state borrowing is concerned, because the four-year plan assumed an interest rate of six percent, and this is actually locked in today at a somewhat lower rate," he said.

    Britain's finance minister, known as the Chancellor, says it is in his country's interest to help Ireland, Britain's biggest trading partner.  Analysts say the economies of Spain and Portugal are showing signs of weakness, sparking further concerns for the stability of the euro.

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