Pat the Cope Gallagher, MEP for Ireland North and West, has welcomed the agreement reached at the Eurozone summit.
Pat the Cope said the decision to extend some of the conditions of the agreement for Greece, Ireland and Portugal will result in significant savings to the Irish State.
“According to the conclusions, the interest rate charged on the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) will be reduced. Excluding the €5bn in bilateral loans, this means the rate cut will be applied to €17.5bn; however this is only one quarter of the amount being borrowed under the Programme (€67.5 billion). The maturities will be extended to a minimum of 15 years, which is also to be welcomed.
“In total, the agreement will result in annual savings to the Irish State which have been put in the order €800 million. However for this to be achieved all Member States will have to agree to a similar reduction to the interest rate charged to the €22.5 billion contained under the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM).
“I am confident that the European Council will favourably consider amending the terms of the EFSM loan. I also hope that Britain, Sweden and Denmark who have provided bilateral loans will respond in a positive manner.
“This is a Europe wide solution, which was agreed once it became clear that both Italy and Spain were slowly being dragged into the sovereign debt crisis, which has affected Ireland, Greece and Portugal.
“However, I am concerned by the decision of the Irish Government to engage in discussions on corporation tax. The Taoiseach previously described CCCTB as ‘tax harmonisation through the backdoor’. CCCTB threatens to undermine Ireland’s ability to attract and maintain Foreign Direct Investment. The Government needs to clarify whether it intends to support the proposal or merely engage in discussions”.