15 C
February 27, 2021

EU ministers approve Irish rescue package

European Union finance ministers officially approved Ireland’s bailout package Tuesday and agreed on measures to combat tax evasion, Wall Street Journal reported. Leaders met in Brussels Tuesday for a scheduled European Council gathering, signing off on a financing plan for Ireland.

Ireland will receive EUR 22.5 billion in loans under the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM), part of a broader EUR 85 billion package with the International Monetary Fund and Ireland’s own funds. The plan is unchanged from the initial proposal hatched after an emergency meeting of finance ministers Nov 28, amid heightened financial market pressure.

For its part, Ireland will have to overhaul its banking system and reduce the government deficit to below 3 pc of gross domestic product by 2015, extending a previous 2014 deadline.

In addition, officials meeting Tuesday agreed on a step-by-step approach for the unconditional exchange of information among member states on income and capital data to prevent tax fraud. “It will thus prevent a member state from refusing to supply information concerning a taxpayer of another member state on the sole grounds that the information is held by a bank or other financial institution,” the Council said in a statement.

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