Ireland announces EUR 2.25 bn stimulus package
(LONDON) - Ireland on Tuesday said it would spend an additional 2.25 billion euros ($2.76 billion) on creating up to 13,000 jobs and stimulating growth in the bailed-out eurozone nation.
"Public expenditure and reform minister, Brendan Howlin today announced the government's plans for an additional 2.25 billion euros investment in job-rich public infrastructure projects in Ireland," the government said in a statement.
"The bulk of the funding will come from a combination of the National Pension Reserve Fund, European Investment Bank/Council of Europe Bank, domestic banks and other potential private investment sources."
Howlin said Tuesday's announcement was "the culmination of intensive efforts to identify projects that are realistic, credible and deliverable.
"This government is committed to getting people back to work and securing real, domestic growth."
The new investment was in addition to Dublin's 17 billion euros infrastructure and capital investment framework programme announced in November.
"Today's announcement builds on this," Howlin said. "Job creation is this government's top priority," he added.
Ireland's unemployment rate jumped to 14.9 percent in June compared with the previous month, recent official data showed. The nation's debt-wracked economy meanwhile contracted in the first quarter of 2012.
Ireland is attempting to put its economy back on track after it was forced to seek an 85-billion-euro EU-IMF rescue package in November 2010 when massive debts left it on the brink of collapse.
The once-buoyant "Celtic Tiger" was forced to turn to the European Union and International Monetary Fund for financial help after it was devastated by the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.
Earlier this month, the Irish government took its first tentative step back into private capital markets as it raised 500 million euros in a modest issue of three-month bills.
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