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IMF Postpones Decision on Ireland Loan Until Dec. 16 Or Later

The International Monetary Fund today postponed consideration of a proposed 22.5 billion euro loan to Ireland ($30 billion) until after the Irish government’s debate on the rescue package, IMF spokesman William Murray said in a statement today.

The IMF won’t take action until after the Irish parliament’s vote, scheduled for Dec. 15, Murray said. That means Dec. 16 is the earliest that Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn could recommend approval to the IMF board, he said.

The IMF made its decision “in deference to Ireland’s parliamentary process,” Murray said. He repeated that the IMF welcomes Ireland’s recent passage of fiscal consolidation measures, saying it “confirms Ireland’s strong commitment to the program and the policies involved.”

The EU and IMF agreed on an 85-billion euro ($113 billion) rescue package for Ireland on Nov. 28, seven months after a 110-billion euro bailout for Greece. The European Central Bank has stepped up buying bonds from the region’s most-indebted countries to prevent the debt crisis from spreading.

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