International negotiators and Ireland agree on bailout

Reuters, AFP, Sunday 28 Nov 2010

An agreement has been reached between international negotiators and Ireland on a 85 billion-euro bailout package

Irish bailout
AP: In this photo taken on 25 November 2010 an exit sign hangs beside a sign from the Bank of Ireland at one of its branches in Central Dublin, Ireland. Senior bonds of Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland slumped Friday, 26 November 2010, amid concern the government will force holders of such debt to share the cost of bailing out its financial system.

The European Union, European Central Bank and the IMF have concluded negotiations with Irish authorities on a bailout and the deal is ready to be signed off by EU finance ministers, EU sources said on Sunday.

"The negotiations are complete and a package has been agreed on the ground," a source involved in the discussions said.

"EU finance ministers are now ready to sign off on it, but I think they will also want to discuss some of the finer details and add some political impetus to what has been agreed in Ireland," he said.

Another source confirmed the deal was in the region of 85 billion-euros. About 35 billion-euros will be used to shore up Ireland's shattered banking system. It is Europe's second bailout this year, after the 110-billion-euro aid granted to Greece in May.

Finance ministers from the 16 eurozone countries are scheduled to begin meeting in Brussels from 1200 GMT to sign off on the package, which will then be put to all 27 EU finance ministers at a separate meeting from 1400 GMT in Brussels.

The details of the bailout are expected to be announced well before financial markets open in Asia on Monday.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso hopes for unanimity among finance ministers in of support Ireland, he told Europe 1 radio.

"I hope that today, at the level of finance ministers, there will be a unanimous agreement to support Ireland," he said.

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