Too soon to decide on Ireland bank rescue: EU

Updated: 2010-11-18 13:16


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BRUSSELS -- European Union (EU) finance ministers said on Wednesday it's premature to discuss conditions of possible aid plan to Ireland since the country has made no application for aid.

Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders, who chaired the meeting of the EU finance ministers, told a press conference that the ministers did not discuss bailout plan for Ireland since the country has not requested aid.

But he said that Europe is ready to act if the Irish government put forward a request and that is the difference with the case in Greece.

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European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said at the press conference that any possible aid plan to Ireland would be "country program" but not direct lending to the banking sector.

"They can only do so through a country program, but one with a special emphasis on strengthening the banking sector," he said.

He said the technical talks between the EU and the Irish government will focus on two aspects, one is on the four-year budget-cutting plan and its 2011 budget, the other is on state of the Irish banking sector and the need for restructuring.

A joint mission from the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will go to Dublin on Thursday to assess the situation of the Irish banking sector.

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