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Noonan gets deal on IMF repayment
12 Sep 2014 19:07
The Government has secured "political agreement" from euro zone finance ministers to repay most of its IMF loans back early, according to the Minister for Finance.
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Speaking in Milan, Michael Noonan said he had secured "unanimous agreement" from euro zone finance ministers to start the process of replacing up to €18bn in IMF loans with funding from the international markets.
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The new loans would almost certainly carry a much lower interest rate than the 5% charged on the IMF loans.
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Mr Noonan said that he still had to make the case to all 27 EU finance ministers at the informal Ecofin meeting tomorrow, but he added that the necessary procedures could now be put in place by euro zone officials.
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Irish sources say that once all 27 governments - including some national parliaments - formally approve the decision, then the process to start raising bonds on the international markets can begin, "probably before the end of the year."
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Mr Noonan has also said that the interest savings derived from paying the loans early could have an impact on calculations for the upcoming Budget.
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