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Sweden ready to open coffers for Ireland: Borg

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Sweden ready to open coffers for Ireland: Borg
12:36 CET+01:00
Sweden could lend Ireland, which is negotiating a debt rescue deal, up to 10 billion kronor ($1.46 billion), Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said Monday.

A Swedish loan to Ireland would be given in addition to funds the country gets from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union.

"We are offering a loan similar to those given to Iceland and Latvia," Borg told Swedish public radio," adding that loans to those countries during the global financial crisis amounted to between five and 10 billion kronor.

Borg said "no final decision has been taken on the amount of the loan but the contribution could be at the same level as the loans to Iceland and Latvia."

He added the loan to Ireland would carry an interest rate of about three percent.

"Sweden is a small country dependent on exports, so stability is crucial to us," Borg said.

Sweden, a member of the EU but not of the single currency eurozone, said late Sunday it would consider a loan to Ireland but did not specify the amount.

The Scandinavian country's public finances are among the healthiest in the European Union and the government is forecasting growth of almost five percent this year.

A Swedish loan to Ireland would need to be approved by parliament, Borg said.

Britain said Monday it was considering a loan to Ireland of about £7 billion ($11.2 billion) as part of an international rescue.

It will also lend to Ireland via the EU/IMF bailout.

The EU and IMF accepted on Sunday Ireland's request for a bailout estimated at up to €90 billion ($123 billion) to stabilise the country's debt-stricken banking system and restore its strained public finances.

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