Irish, Greek debts sustainable – EU rescue fund chief

DUBLIN, April 2 (Reuters) – European authorities and the
International Monetary Fund believe Ireland and Greece can
sustain their debts while it is up to Portugal whether it joins
them in seeking help, the head of Europe’s rescue fund said.
Fears Ireland will not be able to shoulder the burden of one
of the world’s most costliest bank bailouts have overshadowed
the government’s pledge to recapitalise its financial system by
24 billion euros and draw a line under its woes. [ID:nLDE7301VQ]

Klaus Regling, head of the European Financial Stability
Facility, said last week that there were risks to the assumption
that Greece would pay back its debts, but he did not identify
any similar risks to Ireland in an interview with the Irish
Times on Saturday. [ID:nLDE72U0DG]

“The assessment of the three institutions that have the task
to make this kind of assessment — the IMF, the European
Commission and the ECB — is that these countries will reach a
sustainable debt situation at the end of their programmes,”
Regling told the newspaper.

“Portugal is struggling internally whether they should ask
for assistance or not, we shall see, it’s their decision. It’s
these three countries that will have serious problems for a
while, but not the euro area as a whole.”

“Spain overall is in much better shape. There’s no
programme, no need for financial emergency assistance in Spain.”

Regling, who was speculated last month as being Germany’s
candidate for the presidency of the European Central Bank,
repeated that he was happy in his current job and not a
candidate.

“I am not a candidate and I’m happy to be here to manage the
EFSF and to prepare the ESM,” Regling said.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Ron Askew)

Irish, Greek debts sustainable – EU rescue fund chief