UPDATE 2-Irish opposition party says IMF/EU deal too costly

* Fine Gael likely to lead a new coalition govt next year

* Fine Gael warns repayments will be too expensive

* Parliamentary vote on EU/IMF deal on Wednesday

(Adds more quotes, detail)

DUBLIN, Dec 12 (BestGrowthStock) – Ireland’s main opposition Fine
Gael party will seek to renegotiate an IMF/EU 85 billion euros
rescue package to get a lower interest rate if it is elected to
power next year, a senior member said on Sunday.

The centre-right Fine Gael party and the centre-left Labour
party are expected to form a coalition government following a
parliamentary election, possibly in February or March, and are
campaigning to redraw the terms of the bailout.

“What we are going to look for is a mandate to renegotiate
the deal to get a lower interest rate,” Leo Varadkar, Fine
Gael’s spokesman on energy, communications and natural
resources, told national broadcaster RTE.

“It’s not going to work, the current deal, as it stands. We
are not going to be able to make those payments.”

Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s administration has pledged to
tackle the worst budget deficit in Europe, shrink the country’s
banks and subject Dublin to close financial scrutiny in order to
access the external funding.

Fine Gael and Labour have complained about the terms of the
bailout and accused Cowen of squandering the nation’s
sovereignty but they accept its overall austerity targets,
squeezing their room for manoeuvre.

Ireland is contributing 17.5 billion euros of the 85 billion
euros package and its debt management agency has said the
remaining 67.5 billion euros is based on an average interest
rate of 5.82 percent.

The actual rate charged will depend on the market rates at
the time of each drawdown. Ireland, whose 10 year paper is
currently trading around 7.8 percent, is expected to tap the
first tranche early next year.

Cowen will put the EU/IMF deal to a parliamentary vote on
Wednesday, in a politically charged move designed to put the
main opposition parties under pressure.

Labour has said it will vote against the agreement. Fine
Gael has said it will decide its stance after a parliamentary
meeting on Tuesday but Varadkar said he expected the party to
give it the thumbs down.

“My expectation is that we will vote against it on the basis
that we want to renegotiate it.”

Emboldened by the ease at which a record austerity budget is
passing through parliament, Cowen is clearly confident the
bailout will get the thumbs up from the chamber despite his
razor-thin majority and plunging popularity.

The IMF’s board will vote on its portion — 22.5 billion
euros — of the bailout on Thursday, provided the Irish
parliament approves the package.
(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Louise Heavens)

UPDATE 2-Irish opposition party says IMF/EU deal too costly