Wednesday 22 November 2017

EU: Ireland has made no request for bail-out

Ireland has made no request for an EU bail-out, the European Commission confirmed today.

A spokesman in Brussels said there was a "financial backstop" available under emergency EU financing agreed last May - a €50bn fund.

But so far there has been no approach from Dublin for help with "financial stabilisation".

He pointed out that Ireland's sovereign debt is fully financed until next summer and dismissed suggestions that the the Government is facing pressure to take advantage of EU assistance.

"The Irish authorities have made no request for financial assistance and their sovereign debt is fully financed until summer 2011" he said.

"The Commission is in close contact with the Irish authorities as you can imagine."

The Irish financial crisis was discussed by Commission officials at brief talks in Brussels yesterday afternoon, but no conclusions were reached.

"There was a meeting, but it didn't go late. You would expect us to be following events," said another official.

Yesterday the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe, dismissed international reports that Ireland was under increased pressure to apply to Europe for emergency funds.

Mr O'Keeffe denied that behind-the-scenes talks have been taking place on securing a multi billion-euro rescue package from the European Financial Stability Facility.

He insisted: "We certainly haven't looked to Europe."

The country's economic problems will be the focus of Brussels tomorrow and Wednesday when Finance Minister Brian Lenihan attends a meeting of EU finance ministers.

Fears are growing that Ireland's bond market woes will spread across Europe, particularly to Portugal.

The IMF also confirmed it had not received any request from Dublin, with head Dominique Strauss-Kahn adding he thought Ireland could manage well.

The European Commission was keen to play up Ireland's financial track record. The spokesman said: "Ireland has a good track record when it comes to fiscal adjustment. We will help Ireland get back to a deficit within 3pc of GDP. We await presentation of Ireland's four-year plan to reinforce confidence in the Irish economy".

Any of the 16 eurozone member states can take advantage of the European Financial Stability Facility "if help is requested and if it is necessary", in the words of a Commission official.

Press Association

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