05 MAY 2011
By Mark Egan
(Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said on Wednesday he would press for lower interest rates for Dublin's EU/IMF bailout but insisted higher corporate taxes would not be part of any such deal.
Kenny said a deal had already been reached in principle to lower the nearly 6 percent interest rate on the European Union and International Monetary Fund 85 billion euros bailout, and that the details would be hammered out once Portugal finalized details of its pending bailout package.
"At the recent (euro zone) meeting in Brussels ... it was agreed that countries within the bailout package could have a reduction of interest rates applied to them," Kenny told Reuters Insider television.
Kenny said that once details were finalized for a bailout for Portugal, which said late on Tuesday it had reached a three-year bailout deal with the EU and IMF, Dublin could negotiate "an interest rate reduction which would be significant in Ireland's case."
But he refused to consider higher corporate tax rates in Ireland and said his visit to New York was partly to reassure American firms that might consider putting jobs in Ireland that the country's 12.5 percent tax rate was set in stone.
"The corporate tax rate is not negotiable," he said. "We are not moving from our 12.5 percent corporate tax rate. Our country is open for business."
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