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EU critical of second Irish bailout speculation

THE EUROPEAN Commission has described suggestions that Ireland should negotiate a second bailout as "not helpful."

The reaction came after Citigroup’s chief economist Willem Buiter said that it didn’t make good “business sense” that Ireland would return to the bond markets to raise money at 8pc interest rates when it is available at 3pc from the EU/IMF/ECB.

He suggested that Ireland should negotiate a second “standby” bailout fund.

Amadeu Altafaj, spokesperson for EU Commissioner Olli Rehn, said today: "It is not particularly useful to open a public debate on a successor programme when the first programme is delivering,"

He added that the first programme is delivering growth in exports while the banking sector is being reformed and the general fiscal position is better.

Meanwhile, Goodbody Stockbrokers economist Dermot O’Leary said that while the economy returned to modest growth last year, it is very fragile and dependent on exports.