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Finance ministers from EU member states gather in Brussels ahead of today's meeting. Virginia Mayo/AP/Press Association Images

Govt chief whip says bailout deal has to be approved in Brussels

Curran also dismissed Pat Rabbitte’s allegations that the pension reserve fund was used as collateral for banks trading on derivatives.

THE GOVERNMENT CHIEF WHIP John Curran says that the EU/IMF bailout deal has not been made.

Speaking to RTÉ this afternoon, Curran said the negotiations will be concluded today in Brussels at a meeting attended by Brian Lenihan and the other finance ministers of EU member states.

Curran said that the package of measures has to be accepted by all parties and a number of details to go through at today’s meetings, and he is “confident a substantial package will be concluded this afternoon”.

Also speaking to RTÉ, Labour Party TD Pat Rabbitte suggested that the National Pensions Reserve Fund may have been used to cover banks trading derivatives. Curran said if that had happened, the IMF would have spotted it during its exploration of Ireland’s banks.

Bailout details guarded

Regarding the interest rate, Curran said the government had already outlined its position on the interest rate, but would not give any details on the negotiations. He echoed Minister Eamon Ryan’s comments that the rate would not be 6.7%.

He said that the €85bn figure suggested as the overall bailout amount had “been around for a while”, but refused to say what the final figure would be.

Arriving in Brussels for those discussions today, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said Britain would discuss providing two loans to Ireland at the meeting: one bilaterally and one through European mechanisms.

Osborne said it was in the whole of Europe’s interest that “we get stability in Ireland and across the eurozone”. He said the EU finance ministers would discuss all details of the package.