IRELAND is being overcharged on the interest rate imposed by its European partners on its €85 billion bailout package who are being spiteful in demanding a cut in corporation tax in return for lower rates.
This is the view of the “outraged” chairman of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Sharon Bowles MEP, who led a senior delegation of MEPs on an Irish fact-finding mission.
Ms Bowles said Ireland has the recipe to respond to the economic crisis, but is being treated harshly by its EU partners.
“I am outraged by the conditions imposed on Ireland, particularly as regards the interest rate on the loans. While Ireland is coping with the terms imposed, a lower interest rate would mean a faster recovery, which is surely in the interests of the EU and the ECB as well as Ireland,” the MEP said.
“Of the three countries in programmes, Ireland is performing best in class, so to suggest corporation tax measures in return for an interest rate reduction is simply spiteful,” fumed the Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament.
She said the delegation had a sense of things being on the right track and that the Government has taken ownership of the situation.
“We should not underestimate the scale of the resentment of Irish citizens about the banking debt and the burden that has been imposed on them, especially the part that is aiding stability of the banking sector in the EU.
“Surely the deal is that Ireland took one for the team by bailing out the banks as demanded by the ECB, and in return there are loans. The lending countries are not giving money away and I see no reason why they should turn a healthy 3% profit from it when it helps them too,” she added.
Ms Bowles and her delegation had in-depth discussions about the measures taken to fix the problems in the banking sector with Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan.
Afterwards she said they now know more about Irish banks than in other member states and the markets should take note that the era of surprises is over.
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