FORMER Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald has denied suggestions that Ireland needs a European Union bailout, and has accused European authorities of "panicking".
Dr FitzGerald was speaking at the Irish Embassy in London yesterday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Anglo-Irish agreement.
"I would have thought that we have got a chance of sorting this out ourselves," Dr FitzGerald said when asked about the economic crisis. "We don't need a bailout if we can resolve the problems without it.
"I think Europe has concerns about the possible impact (of the failing Irish economy) on other countries in the Eurozone and may have panicked a bit at this stage."
Dr FitzGerald also denied claims that Taoiseach Brian Cowen was putting up a smokescreen to hide the full scale of the problems amid suggestions that a bailout is expected "soon".
"They are committed to the €6bn package suggested. The IMF would not look for any more than we are doing."