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Euro area loan Facility (amendment) Bill 2013: Second Stage

Vote from 23/01/2013

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Bill entitled an Act to further facilitate, in the public interest, the financial stability of the European Union and the safeguarding of the financial stability of the Euro area as a whole and for those purposes—

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Background information

Bill entitled an Act to further facilitate, in the public interest, the financial stability of the European Union and the safeguarding of the financial stability of the Euro area as a whole and for those purposes—
(a) to enable effect to be given, in so far as it relates to the State, to the amendment to the EUR 80 000 000 000 loan facility agreement done in Brussels on 19 December 2012 and in Athens on 18 December 2012,
(b) to provide for matters relating to subsequent amendments to the loan facility agree- ment which have been approved by Dáil Éireann pursuant to article 2952° of the Constitu- tion,
(c) to amend the Euro Area Loan Facility Act 2010, and
(d) to provide for related matters

As summarized by Minister of State Deputy Fergus O'Dowd on the 22nd of January
This Bill allows Ireland to ratify the changes to the Greek loan facility required to implement the new programme of assistance for Greece as agreed by the Eurogroup finance Ministers in December last year. In order for the enhanced assistance provided under these amendments to the Greek loan facility to be made available to Greece as quickly as possible, all eurozone member states have been asked to complete their national procedures by early next month The Bill is therefore being treated as urgent, with all stages in the Dáil being taken this week, and all stages in the Seanad scheduled for next week.

Two previous amendments have been made to the Greek loan facility that required amend- ment of the Euro Area Loan Facility Act 2010

The measures agreed for this latest set of changes include a debt buyback of bonds held by private investors; a reduction of 100 basis points in the interest rate margin on the Greek loan facility, bringing it to 50 basis points - I would note here that other programme countries, such as Ireland, are not required to participate in this reduction while they are in receipt of financial assistance; the guarantee commitment fee on European financial stability facility, EFSF, loans to be cancelled;

the maximum maturities of the loan to Greece to be extended by 15 years to 30 years; interest payments on EFSF loans to be deferred for ten years; and member states to pass on to Greece’s segregated account an amount equivalent to the income on the securities market programme portfolio accruing to their national central bank as from budget year 2013 Again, member states under a full financial assistance programme are not required to participate in this scheme for the period in which they receive financial assistance.

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