Germany wants punitive interest rate for Ireland
European finance ministers are struggling to reach agreement on the interest rate to be paid by Ireland for the €85bn of rescue finance it is set to receive from the EU and IMF - although they appear to have reached a settled position there should not be losses imposed on providers of senior debt to Irish banks.
As I understand it, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, is arguing that Ireland should pay a higher interest rate of around 7%. His demand is thought to reflect the chronic unpopularity in Germany of the country's participation in bailouts of financially weaker EU states, such as Greece and Ireland.
So the German government feels that any rescue loans should not look like cheap money, but should be charged at an interest rate that contains an element of punishment for the reckless borrowing spree of Ireland's banks, which took the Irish economy to the brink of bankruptcy.
Ireland would plainly want to pay less. And it is thought that the UK is supporting the Irish position, for fear of the damaging consequences for financial stability if the Irish state were burdened with an unaffordable rate of interest.
Although initially Ireland believed it would pay 5%, a compromise of around 6% may eventually be agreed.
A source close to the talks in Brussels told me that the finance ministers' meeting is still at least a couple of hours from finishing - and the wrangling could go on for longer.
"This issue of the interest rate is not proving easy to settle," he said. "There is still a faint chance we won't reach agreement tonight".
As and when the finance ministers reach agreement on the rescue package - which is expected to be worth €85bn in total, of which €50bn would be earmarked for funding Ireland's deficit and €35bn for shoring up its weakened banks - the deal will still not be done. It would still have to be approved by the board of the International Monetary Fund, which could take several days.
Also it will take some days to distribute the €35bn portion between Ireland's needy banks, led by Anglo Irish, Allied Irish and Bank of Ireland.
Owners of billions of euros of bonds issued by these banks that is classified as senior debt will be deeply relieved that "haircuts" - or reductions in what they're owed - will not be imposed on them.
As I understand it, the EU largest economies are deeply worried that forcing losses on these bondholders could shake confidence in many other European banks.
However holders of subordinated debt will be forced to endure formal writedowns of the billions of euros owed to them.
Update 17:45: Rescue deal agreed. Taoiseach to announce details at 18:30. I will file again later.