8 May 2011

Ireland may get interest rate cut emergency loans

1:40 pm on 8 May 2011

The European Commission says it's willing to cut the interest rate on the emergency loans made to the Irish Republic last year.

At present Ireland pays an average rate of 5.8% on loans agreed with the IMF, fellow Eurozone countries and a special fund set up by the European Commission.

It is not clear what scale of cuts are envisaged, but the BBC says a reduction of 1% would save the republic up to 400 million euro.

Sources have told the BBC a special written procedure will be adopted ahead of the meeting of EU finance ministers on 17 May.

This speeds up the implementation of a rate cut as it would bypass the need for a full vote by all 27 European Union commissioners on the matter.