The Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan is seeking to introduce legislation that will allow the government to loan $700 million to Greece as part of a $61 billion rescue package to the debt ravaged country.
EU member states have reluctantly agreed to bail out Greece with $41 billion. The International Monetary Fund has agreed to add a further $20 billion to the bailout loan.
Sources within the Greek government have said that the country may need a total of $109 billion over the next three years.
The money will be used to refinance their national debt and fund the running of the Greek state.
The government’s decision to loan money to Greece has shocked the Irish public, as Ireland has already borrowed billions of dollars to bailout the nations banks.
As a result of the banking bailout, Irish taxes have increased and public spending has been cut.
Ireland's Finance Minister defended the loan agreement: “The agreement is first and foremost about safeguarding financial stability in the euro area. This will be to the benefit of all member states, including Ireland. The costs of all countries participating, including Ireland . . . would be fully covered.”
Lenihan said that the Irish state could make a healthy profit from the loans to Greece.
The Irish state will borrow the money at a fixed rate of 2.35 percent over a three year term. The government will then lend the money to Greece at a fixed rate of 5 percent over a period of three years.
Greece currently borrows money at a staggering 7 percent.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?