Belfast Telegraph

Opposition in vow on bailout deal

Ireland's opposition politicians have vowed to renegotiate the 85 billion euro bailout after next year's general election.

The massive bank and state loan facility was passed by the Dail with the crucial support of independents but also with promises from Fine Gael and Labour to get a cheaper deal.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said any suggestions that the Opposition could get a better interest rate from the International Monetary Fund was laughable.

The vote clears the way for 35 billion euro to be set aside for the banks - 10 billion euro being drawn right away - and 50 billion euro for the state's running costs.

The average interest rate is about 5.8%.

Michael Noonan, Fine Gael finance spokesman, branded the IMF/EU deal an obscenity while Labour claimed it was bad for the country.

Mr Noonan said it was a disaster that taxpayers were being saddled with debts they never ran up.

"What a disaster. What an obscenity," Mr Noonan said.

"How can the Government stand over it? How can our European colleagues stand over it?"

Eamon Gilmore, Labour leader, said: "Such is the mess that Fianna Fail have made of the country that we need outside help."

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