At the weekend Ireland finally requested help under the budget safety net mechanism European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) with respective ministers of the Eurozone approving the assistance, including Slovakia this time.
Finance minister Ivan Miklos told Reuters on Sunday that “Ireland has asked for help from the EFSF and Slovakia has joined other euro zone partners and approved this”. He did not forget to mention, though, how Slovakia had already raised questions about these kinds of mechanisms in the past, as the country was the only EU member to refuse a bailout loan to Greece.
The EU and IMF agreed to help Ireland deal with its economic crisis by providing it with the necessary loans. Irish PM Brian Cowen formally announced: “The European authorities have agreed to our request. I expect that agreement to be finalised shortly within the next few weeks.”
Nobody yet knows how much Ireland will be asking for as this still has to be negotiated, but it is likely to be less than Greece (EUR 150 bn) and a senior EU source has mentioned about EUR 80-90 billion. The money, several hundred million of which will come from Slovakia, will help Ireland tackle the deficit of 30% of its GDP.