Irish parliament approves €85bn bailout
15 December 2010, 23:25
Dublin - The Irish parliament on Wednesday approved the €85bn international support scheme to rescue the country's finances.
The vote margin was 80 in favour to 75 opposed, with approval by parliament the last step necessary before the bailout help from the European Union and International Monetary Fund could be implemented.
Opposition parties continued their criticism of the deal, citing among others that the 5.83% average interest which Ireland must pay was too high.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan rejected the criticism and said it was "ludicrous" for the opposition to believe a better deal with the EU and IMF could have been reached.
For its part, Ireland had to promise to carry out a strict austerity programme. Budget savings of €15bn are to be achieved over the next four years through spending cuts and tax increases