Ireland's debt interest rate is higher than Greece

Ireland's debt interest rate is higher than Greece

Ireland is still paying a higher interest rate on our national debt than Greece, Italy and Spain, despite claims years of crippling austerity measures have left the country in a better position than other recession-hit nations, writes Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner Political Reporter.

Senior officials from the National Treasury Management Agency confirmed the situation at a detailed meeting with the Dáil's cross-party public accounts committee yesterday, amid claims the situation means Ireland is being charged €2bn more than Greece every year.

Responding to questions from PAC chair and Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming, NTMA chief executive Conor O Kelly confirmed Ireland is currently being hit with a 3.3% interest rate on our national debate.

The high-ranking financial expert confirmed Italy and Spain have an interest rate of 3.1% each, while Greece is facing a rate of just 2.1%.

Mr Fleming lashed out at the situation, saying the "international comparisons are mind boggling" and must be immediately addressed.

However, while accepting it appears unfair, Mr O Kelly said the reality is Ireland's debt is mainly foreign compared to the domestic-focussed debts of Italy and Spain - meaning it will take longer to impact on rates - while the cut-price rate given to Greece is simply because the country cannot cope with a higher cost.

"It's [foreign debt as opposed to domestic debt] like moving the Titanic, it takes a little while longer but it does move," the NTMA chief executive said.


More in this Section

Dozens of parishioners attend drive-in church service in AntrimDozens of parishioners attend drive-in church service in Antrim

Two arrested after €23k of prescription drugs seized in WaterfordTwo arrested after €23k of prescription drugs seized in Waterford

'We need continuity at this time' - Ciaran Cuffe against change of Green Party leader'We need continuity at this time' - Ciaran Cuffe against change of Green Party leader

HSE gets reassurances late filing of Covid-19 data by hospitals has not been repeatedHSE gets reassurances late filing of Covid-19 data by hospitals has not been repeated


Lifestyle

Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

More From The Irish Examiner