Friday

20th Oct 2017

Ireland and Portugal set for debt deferral

  • Ireland is on course to complete its bailout programme (Photo: Annie in Beziers)

Ireland and Portugal are to be given more time to repay their emergency loans with both countries seen as good pupils in following the imposed austerity programme.

An EU finance ministers meeting Tuesday (5 March) noted that "both countries have taken successful steps to re-enter the markets."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

They discussed how best to help the two countries to "exit" their bailout programmes.

Officials from the European Central, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund - the so-called Troika - will now discuss how to "smooth" their debt repayments.

EU economic affairs commission Rehn said he was "confident" Ireland would leave its adjustment programme in autumn 2013 and Portugal in spring 2014.

He also claimed that national parliaments across the EU could be "convinced on the merits of the assessment of the longer maturities" on the grounds that "it is very much in the European interest, and the interest of each member state, that both Ireland and Portugal will successfully exit the programme and regain market funding.”

Irish finance minister Michael Noonan was more circumspect, commenting that there were "a range of options still in the paperwork provided by the commission.”

Ireland and Portugal want to push back the maturity of loans by up to fifteen years to help ease the repayment pressure although EU sources have indicated an average extension period of five years.

The two countries have received bailout packages worth €67.5 billion and €78 billion respectively.

Both countries are keen to return to financing themselves on the international debt markets.

Ireland was pushed into difficulties in 2010 following the collapse of Anglo-Irish bank and the Bank of Ireland, causing its budget deficit that year to reach a massive 30 percent.

The debt deals have pushed the debt-to-GDP ratio up to nearly 120 percent in both countries.

However, Ireland is now among the better economic performers in the eurozone. The Commission's Winter Forecast, released in February, predicted that Ireland's economy would continue its recovery in 2013 and 2014 with GDP growth of 1.1 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.

Portugal, however, remains mired in recession, with its economy expected to contract by a further 1.9 percent in 2013.

Bundestag approves Cyprus bailout

German MPs have approved by a large majority a €10bn EU-IMF bailout for Cyprus, but MPs in Nicosia may still derail the deal.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch PM: Brexit is 'still a bad idea'
  2. Commission to issue proposal on civil protection
  3. Tusk: 'No space' for EU intervention in Catalonia
  4. Austrian PM calls Brexit talks speed 'big disappointment'
  5. PM Muscat: journalist murder 'left a mark' on Malta
  6. Belgian PM: No crisis with Spain over Catalan remarks
  7. Ireland PM: Further Brexit concessions needed from UK
  8. Merkel: rule of law in Turkey going 'in wrong direction'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  2. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  3. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  6. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  7. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  8. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  9. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  10. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  11. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness