EU releases next tranche of Irish, Portuguese debt aid
The European Union agreed on Friday to provide Ireland and Portugal with the next installments of their multi-billion-euro bailouts after progress in their austerity measures.
The decision will pave the way for Ireland to receive over the next two months a total of 7.5 billion euros ($10.7 billion) drawn from the 85-billion-euro rescue package granted by the EU and International Monetary Fund last year.
Portugal will receive 11.5 billion euros, part of its 78-billion-euro EU-IMF bailout.
The EU said the decision to release the funds followed the "positive outcome" of the last quarterly reviews by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, which examined the progress made in implementing austerity measures.
"During their visits to Dublin in the first half of July and to Lisbon at the beginning of August, the three institutions noted that the Irish and Portuguese programmes were on track," the EU said in a statement.
Dublin and Lisbon were "meeting important programme milestones and demonstrating their commitment to addressing underlying weaknesses in public finances and the financial sector and as regards competitiveness."
© 2011 AFP