Euro Crisis

Ireland and Portugal Get Extension on Bailout Repayment

They need more time to drag their economies out of the ditch

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Portugal and Ireland are to be granted an extra seven years to pay back their emergency bailout loans.

The European Union and the IMF bailed out the Republic of Ireland in 2010 and Portugal in 2011.

The 17-member group that uses the euro currency agreed to the terms at a meeting of finance ministers in Dublin.

Meanwhile, the ministers also said a 10bn euro ($13bn; £8.5bn) EU bailout loan for Cyprus was ready for approval by member states.

That could happen by the end of the month and, if the IMF also gives the go-ahead, the first bailout money could be released by mid-May.