EU may extend bailout loans to help Portugal
10 April 2013 1:51am
IRELAND and Portugal could get major extensions to their bailout loans this week, if other EU countries accept recommendations from international lenders.
A possible seven-year extension would ease the pressures on their finances, making it easier for the recovering nations to return to accessing market funding.
The help would be particularly timely for Portugal as it is struggling to push through austerity measures against courts which have struck down some key spending cuts.
Ireland and Portugal got emergency loans from the EU in 2010 and 2011 respectively after investors refused to lend to them at sustainable prices.
The average maturity of EU loans to Ireland is 12.5 years and to Portugal between 12.5 and 14.7 years depending on which pot the funds came from. Ireland is set to return to full market financing late this year and Portugal in 2014.
By extending the maturity, the payments are spread over a longer time, reducing the burden on the countries.
The recommendations were drafted by representatives of the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund – the three are known as the Troika – and the European Financial Stability Facility.
It will be presented to EU ministers who meet in Dublin on Friday and Saturday to discuss the extensions.
Because the meeting is described as informal, the ministers are likely to give merely political support for the extensions for both countries with a formal decision to follow only next month.
But while Ireland is likely to get full support, the backing for more time for Portugal is likely to be made conditional on Lisbon finding new measures to fill a €1.3bn (£1.1bn) gap in the 2013 budget following a ruling by Portugal’s constitutional court that some of the earlier planned steps were illegal.
In other news
Talks between Network Rail and RMT bosses are continuing into the evening as the two sides try to negotiate a [Read more]
Sepp Blatter's reign as Fifa president will be four times as long as the average tenure of bosses at FTSE 100 [Read more]
Emirates Airline has been confirmed as the new sponsor of the FA Cup on the day of the cup final which will see [Read more]
Newly re-elected Fifa president Sepp Blatter has given a press conference in Zurich where he answered the many [Read more]
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has warned of encroaching government powers after plans [Read more]
Sepp Blatter will be Fifa president for a further four years after comfortably beating Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein [Read more]
Ukip's Lord Pearson of Rannoch has asked the government to back a draw Mohammed competition. [Read more]
Network Rail and RMT bosses are once again entering talks to see if the latest set of strikes, announced yesterday, [Read more]
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said this morning that a comprehensive deal with Greece is "very unlikely... in the next few days". [Read more]
Good news multiple-gun salute fans. Next week there will be not one but two such events, marking the 62nd year [Read more]
An EasyJet flight from Luton to Tel Aviv has been forced to turn back after multiple cabin crew members reported [Read more]
A vehicle has struck a bridge it was passing under in Tulse Hill, south London, causing train cancellations and [Read more]
Shares in troubled insurance claims outsourcer Quindell fell in late morning trading after the company announced [Read more]
After a number of top Fifa officials were arrested on accusations of bribery and racketeering this week, the already [Read more]
The mother of the children who died at a Thomas Cook-approved hotel in Corfu has slammed Harriet Green's decision [Read more]
The meteoric rise in London office rents is unlikely to slow down for at least another year, the chief executive [Read more]
Andy Burnham will today admit that Labour got it wrong on business and the economy, and that the party cannot [Read more]
The German Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said it is “astonished” that the UK is considering leaving [Read more]
When it comes to creating new technologies, London is a long way behind other cities in the UK, new research has [Read more]
Four FinTech startups have won $100,000 (£65,400) backing from Citi after a search for new technology and innovation [Read more]
Property types may have been worried about the looming spectre of a mansion tax during the run-up to the General [Read more]
Corruption allegations, arrests of top officials, global outrage - in most organisations such calamities would [Read more]
Are the UK's new crop of MPs actually any good at social media? [Read more]
Donmar Warehouse | ★★★★★ [Read more]