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Ireland to pay lower interest rate on EU bailout loan

Renegotiation of bailout deal could save €900m annually to the Irish economy.

Renegotiation of bailout deal could save €900m annually to the Irish economy.

The Irish Government secured a reduction on its bailout loan repayments following a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on July 21st.

Ireland's interest rate will be lowered from 6% to between 3.5% and 4% and the length of time to pay back the loan has also been extended from seven and a half years to 15 years.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the changes to the bailout deal will save Ireland around €700m to €900m each year in interest payments, money the Irish Government can now spend elsewhere.

The news was a significant victory for Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who promised a renegotiation of the EU bailout terms during last March's general election campaign.

The Irish economy is expected to return to positive growth this year, according to the IMF, the EU Commission, and the Irish Central Bank. In May the Irish Government published revised economic forecasts anticipating growth of +0.8% for 2011 and +2.5% for 2012.

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