Highlights of euro zone finance ministers meet on Ireland

(BestGrowthStock) – European Union finance ministers are expected to sign off on a bailout package of around 85 billion euros for Ireland at a meeting in Brussels on Sunday. Following are comment from ministers as they arrived for the 7:00 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) gathering:

BRITAIN’S CHANCELLOR GEORGE OSBORNE

“I think we are going to make some very good progress today. Obviously it is in everyone’s interests and it is in Britain’s national interest that we get some economic stability in Ireland and indeed across the euro zone, because Britain trades a great deal with Ireland and other European countries and it is in the whole of Europe’s interest now that we bring this matter to a close, get some stability, get our economies growing. “We are going to discuss the details of the whole package today and I think we are going to make good progress.

Obviously we have all come here on a Sunday to sort this out in order to get some stability.

It’s absolutely in Britain’s national interest that we sort out Ireland, that we get some stability in the euro area and Britain will play its part in helping to bring that about.”

EU COMMISSIONER FOR ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS OLLI REHN

“You know that we have a very serious situation, we have to do our utmost to protect the foundations of our economic recovery.”

“Today we shall take very important decisions to that effect. First of all I trust that the finance ministers will endorse the EU-IMF program with Ireland and that secondly, we have to discuss the broader ramifications of the current debt crisis. We have to discuss the systemic response to this crisis. I hope that we will make progress on these matters.”

AUSTRIAN FINANCE MINISTER JOSEF PROELL

“It’s not only a question about aid for Ireland but with Ireland the stability of our common currency. We will have a comprehensive discussion … Not just about countries but where we stand, what are the economic perspectives, what are the forecasts for the next months and years.

GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE

“We are working toward a solution and hope that as of tomorrow the financial markets will be confident again that the euro is a currency with a stable future.”

FRENCH ECONOMY MINISTER CHRISTINE LAGARDE

“The assistance to Ireland is nearly done. We have just a little fine-tuning to be done, notably on interest rates. So it is worth coming here on a Sunday.

“We have easily enough to do what’s needed with Ireland, an assistance plan of 85 billion euros.”

BELGIAN FINANCE MINISTER DIDIER REYNDERS

“We will try to complete the work that had started already and also make an assessment of what is going on in the euro zone.

“The euro zone has to react and defend its currency. We share the same currency. We showed it in the case of Greece and we have to show it in the case of Ireland.”

“We have to make decisions which shows that in the future, we are capable of resisting where there are shocks or turbulence. As you know already, we have put in place instruments to do that.”

DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER JAN KEES DE JAGER

“We will also speak in a broader context about stability in the euro zone.”

SPANISH ECONOMY MINISTER ELENA SALGADO

Asked if there would be discussion on enlarging the 690 billion euro European Financial Stability Facility:

“We won’t be discussing that today. We will only discuss Ireland today.”

On market reaction:

“I believe that, yes (markets will react positively), if we find a solution to the Irish problems. I hope so.”

On whether Spain will need help:

“I insist, the problems are in Ireland. I am absolutely convinced (that we don’t need help.”

Highlights of euro zone finance ministers meet on Ireland