The European Union will discuss lowering the interest rate on bailout loans to Ireland as part of its comprehensive response to the sovereign debt crisis, Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn has said.

‘We have a common goal for Ireland to revive its growth dynamic and succeed in ensuring debt sustainability,’ Mr Rehn told a news conference today.

‘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.

‘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.’

The EU and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a €85bn emergency loan package with Ireland last year to help cover the country's financing needs, after borrowing costs for Dublin on the market became unsustainably high.