IRELAND: Here's What We Know Right Now

Brian Lenihan Ireland

Photo: RTE

We’ve just completed watching the press conference held by the two Brians: Taoiseach Cowen, and Finance Minister Lenihan.Here’s what we know:

  • Ireland has officially requested aid. This was a crucial step and the country had resisted this for a while.
  • The corporate tax rate will almost certainly stay at 12.5%. Word is that it wasn’t ever really part of the negotiations.
  • The 3-year facility will be sub-100 billion EUR.
  • Beyond that, no new details are known. Technical discussions with the Eurogroup and the IMF will take place over the next few weeks.
  • In the meantime, Ireland will announce a 4-year plan and a budget shortly. Goal is to get deficit to 3% of GDP by 2014, and rapid dismantling of the overly-big banking sector. And that’s it.

All in all: yes, some relief that the bailout process is in motion. But hard to see the markets getting THAT excited due to lack of details, and all the difficult technical work to come.

Update: The full text of the Eurogroup/Ecofin statement is here and the government’s own statement is here.

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