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Julien Behal/PA Wire

Ireland borrows first tranche of bailout funds

€5bn of the potential €67.5bn in foreign aid is drawn down, as Brian Lenihan insists the interest rate won’t be changed.

IRELAND HAS DRAWN DOWN the first instalment of its €67.5bn bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, accessing a €5bn loan from the European Financial Stability Mechanism.

RTÉ reports that the National Treasury Management Agency formally borrowed the first €5bn from the EFSM today, following its successful bond auctions last week which raised cash for Brussels to pay for the Irish loans.

Europe raised the €5bn in bailout funding last Tuesday, with money markets buying up specially-issued bonds at an average rate of about 2.53% – a rate lower than half of that Ireland will be paying, in turn, to borrow that cash.

The borrowing came as Brian Lenihan told the Dáil it would be impossible to renegotiate the interest rate being levied on Ireland for the bailout funds, although it was possible to amend certain elements of teh deal.

Lenihan was responding to a question from Fine Gael finance spokesman Michael Noon, who maintained that the rate could be renegotiated with Ecofin, the EU’s group of finance ministers, or with the heads of government of the EU member states.

Read more from the Dáil at RTÉ News >