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November 30, 2022

Greece wins eurozone concessions, Ireland rebuffed

Greece has won a reduction of 100 basis points – one percent – in the interest rate it pays on its EUR 110 bln loan and an extension of the payment period from the current three and a half years to seven and a half EUObserver informs.

Ireland was offered a similar reduction, but the country’s new prime minister said he could not accept the terms demanded. “It was impossible to reach a deal for Ireland this evening,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny told reporters after an acrimonious seven-hour meeting of eurozone premiers and presidents in Brussels on Friday. He continued adding that Ireland still intends to be “constructive” about discussions about EU tax policy as contained in a ‘euro pact’ agreed by leaders early Saturday morning, but that was as far as Dublin was willing to go. Referring to an angry confrontation between Kenny and French President Nicolas Sarkozy over corporate taxes, he said: “France has had very strong views on corporate tax rates for quite some time, but then so do I.”

In return for Greece’s concessions, Athens has committed to a detailed fire-sale privatisation programme worth some EUR 50 bln. The country had been pushing for a reduction of two percent on the interest it pays, but the request fell on deaf ears in Berlin, Paris, the Hague and Helsinki. Non-euro EU states, such as Sweden, Denmark, the UK, and Poland, will be invited to join the pact at the European Council of 24-25 March.

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