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The Taoiseach and Van Rompuy at government buildings today. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Van Rompuy on interest rate reduction: "We need a deal"

The president of the European Council was speaking on his first visit to Ireland.

THE PRESIDENT OF the European Council has appeared to back Ireland’s push for a cut on the interest rate it pays on its European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout.

Herman Van Rompuy was speaking to reporters at a rain-soaked press conference following bilateral discussions with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Dublin today.

He said “we need a deal” in relation to Ireland’s push for an interest rate reduction, RTÉ reports.

Getting a deal has proved more difficult to achieve then was first anticipated by the current government with talk of a one per cent cut on the 5.8 per cent Ireland pays on the bailout being downgraded to a possible cut of 0.6 per cent.

Discussions between the Taoiseach and the former Belgian prime minister – on his first trip to Ireland – have focused on the issues on the agenda of the June European Council next week as well as other economic issues.

Van Rompuy is due to meet president Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin later today as well as address the Institute of International and European Affairs, and visit Trinity College in Dublin.

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