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IMF approves 22.5 billion euro loan for debt-hit Ireland

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-17

The International Monetary Fund gave Ireland the go ahead to borrow 22.5 billion euros (30.1 billion dollars) to fend off a debt crisis threatening the country's economy. Ireland's Parliament had voted, Wednesday, in favor of a EU-IMF bailout.

AFP - The International Monetary Fund gave Ireland a green light Thursday to borrow 22.5 billion euros (30.1 billion dollars) to battle an economic and banking crisis.

The IMF executive board approved a three-year loan "to support the authorities' economic adjustment and financial stabilization program," the institution said in a statement.

The so-called extended fund facility is a key part of an 85-billion-euro financing package arranged by the IMF and the European Union to help Ireland survive a debt crisis.

The IMF loan was approved under the fund's exceptional access policy and fast-track emergency financing procedures, making about 5.8 billion euros immediately available to Ireland.

The loan approval came one day after Ireland's parliament voted narrowly in favor of the EU-IMF bailout.

"The Irish economy faces a crisis without parallel in its recent history. The new program, building on the authorities’ recent efforts, steps up the pace and range of measures to address financial and fiscal stability concerns," IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in the statement.

"A clear and realistic package of policies is set in a multi-year policy framework to restore Ireland’s banking system to health, place its public finances on a sound footing, and reclaim growth."

The IMF last week had delayed the executive board's move on the rescue plan until the Irish parliament took action on the proposed bailout.

Ireland's Dail, or lower house of parliament, voted by 81 to 75 Wednesday to approve the bailout worth after Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said it was the only basis for recovery of the battered Irish economy.

Ireland, rocked by bank bailouts, a property market meltdown and recession-ravaged tax revenues, has unveiled austerity plans to slash a huge deficit and save 15 billion euros by 2014.
 

Date created : 2010-12-16

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