No emergency aid for Ireland considered – EU

BRUSSELS, Sept 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Euro zone emergency funding
for Ireland is not being considered, European Commission
spokesman Amadeu Altafaj said on Tuesday.

Ireland’s borrowing costs leapt again on Tuesday after two
credit rating agencies warned its debt is at risk of further
downgrades, piling pressure on the government to bring forward
its budget.

Ireland is battling to convince investors it can afford to
shore up its banking sector and cut the biggest budget deficit
in the European Union, given its weak economy and growing risks
of a political crisis.

Asked if there was a chance that Ireland would tap the euro
zone’s 440 billion euro emergency fund, the European Financial
Stability Facility (EFSF) set up to help euro zone members who
have problems financing themselves on the market, Altafaj said:

“The issue is not being considered.” He added the Commission
was confident that Dublin would do what is necessary to retain
market confidence.

The government is hoping a final bill for dealing with
nationalised lender Anglo Irish Bank [ANGIB.UL], expected later
this week, will clear up fears that the cost will vastly exceed
a current estimate of 25 billion euros ($34 billion).

To get money from the EFSF, Dublin would have to request
such aid, and the application would have to be reviewed by the
Commission and the European Central Bank. Euro zone finance
ministers would have the final say.

A senior euro zone source, asked if Ireland has been testing
the waters to use the EFSF borrowing vehicle or held any
informal talks on the subject said: “Definitely not”.

The source added “That is not necessary, I believe.”

Another euro zone source, involved in the preparation of the
monthly meetings of euro zone finance ministers who are
shareholders of the EFSF, said: “In theory it is possible. But
there have been no movements in that direction.”

A further two sources involved in the preparation of the
euro zone finance minister meetings or directly with the EFSF
said they were not aware of any talks to activate EFSF borrowing
for Ireland.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, editing by Ron Askew)

No emergency aid for Ireland considered – EU