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Finance

Ireland, ECB reach debt restructuring deal

Ireland has announced an agreement with the Central European Bank in Frankfurt on a scheme to overhaul debt repayment schemes. The country has been given a much longer period to get rid of its debt load.

Ireland announced on Thursday it had finally reached a deal with the European Central bank (ECB) to restructure the debts stemming from the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the agreement entailed transforming short-term lending into longer-term bonds which would significantly reduce the repayment pressure on his country.

"I am pleased to announce that Ireland has reached a conclusion to its discussions with the ECB that delivers on our commitment to put in place a fairer and more sustainable arrangement," Kenny told lawmakers who approved the deal.

Budgetary strains

He added that in essence Ireland would be allowed to replace short-term and high-interest-rate overdraft that would have had to be paid back quickly with cheaper and long-term loans.

By doing so, Ireland's repayments will be reduced by 20 billion euros ($26 billion) over the coming decade, with overall repayments extended until 2053.

The country is due to exit its own 85-billion-euro bailout program at the end of the current year and has said it would do all in its power to avoid a second rescue action.

hg/pfd (AFP, AP, dpa)