Thursday

8th Dec 2016

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."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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.

EU public lacks voice on banking laws

The complexity of financial laws and lack of NGO resources means the “man in the street” has little say on EU banking regulation, the EU Commission has warned.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  2. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  3. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  5. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  7. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  8. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  9. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  10. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  11. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  12. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children

Latest News

  1. ECB reshapes its bond-buying scheme
  2. Digital content directive threatens app development sector
  3. EU says Greece fit to take back migrants
  4. MEPs back plan to 'revitalise' complex financial products
  5. EU offers Denmark backdoor to Europol
  6. EU nationals fighting for IS drop by half
  7. EU targets Germany and UK for not fining VW's emissions fraud
  8. Slovak minister defends EU presidency compromises