Interest rate likely to be off agenda for now - Creighton

A REDUCTION in Ireland’s interest rate from the EU-IMF deal is unlikely to happen at next week’s meeting of EU finance ministers…

A REDUCTION in Ireland’s interest rate from the EU-IMF deal is unlikely to happen at next week’s meeting of EU finance ministers, said Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton.

Ms Creighton said in Paris yesterday that the Greek crisis had complicated the issue of Ireland’s interest. “The likelihood is that the focus on Greece will take the Irish interest rate off the agenda for the time being,” she said. “The Greek situation is making other member states more uncomfortable because they are beginning to question how much it is going to require and there is concern about that,” she said.

Ms Creighton was speaking after meeting French counterpart Laurent Wauquiez. She said the meeting was constructive, with discussions on a range of trade, farming and competitiveness issues. While, in a radio interview yesterday, Mr Wauquiez accused Ireland of “tax dumping” during the boom, Ms Creighton said he had accepted Ireland was different from Greece and Portugal. “It was acknowledged by my counterpart that the fact that we have a very competitive and open economy and an educated workforce, all of these factors distinguish us from Greece and Portugal.”