DESPITE the dire financial situation the Government is facing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not expect Ireland to seek a bailout along the lines of that granted to troubled economies like Iceland.
"It is hard to imagine that Ireland would need to resort to a loan from the International Monetary Fund", an IMF spokeswoman said yesterday in response to warnings from the Irish Government over its finances.
"I hope Ireland would be interested in our advice but it is hard for me to imagine that they would be wanting our money," Caroline Atkinson, the IMF's director of external affairs, said.
The Government has raised the prospect of an eventual bailout by the IMF as an argument for unpopular spending cuts it plans in next week's 2010 Budget. Asked if there was reason to fear the IMF coming in and "running" Ireland, Ms Atkinson repeated it was "hard to imagine". She said: "We think of ourselves more as a doctor with a patient and not a policeman with a criminal."