Despite increased borrowing costs and rumors of a possible bailout, Ireland’s minister of enterprise, trade and innovation said Sunday that the countrywas not in need of rescueand has funding till the middle of 2011. In a Reuters report, Batt O’Keefe stressed that Ireland was not in talks with the European Union about a rescue package, despite reports on Friday to the contrary from EU sources.
The rise of interest rates on Irish bonds to record highs last week led to concerns during the G20 meeting that the country would need a rescue package similar to that granted to Greece, and on Friday EU sources informed Reuters that it was in talks with Ireland about emergency funding.
However, on Sunday O’Keefe insisted that such was not the case and that Ireland neither wanted nor needed a Greece-style bailout. He told national broadcaster RTE, ". . . We have every confidence that we will be able to manage this economy. It's been a very hard-won sovereignty for this country and this government is not going to give over that sovereignty to anyone.”
While Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) managing director, said on Saturday that Ireland had not requested aid and that he was unaware of talks, Olli Rehn, European economic and monetary affairs commissioner, had another version. He told Finnish broadcaster YLE: "We are ready and reviewing the situation in close cooperation with Ireland's authorities," and added that the Eurogroup, euro zone finance ministers, would meet to discuss Ireland on Tuesday.
Strauss-Kahn had said, "So far I have not had a request, and I think Ireland can manage well."
EU sources had said it was “very likely” that the nation would have to have help amounting to between 45 and 90 billion euros from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF); the amount would depend on whether the bank sector required assistance. Ireland’s bank situation is different from that of Greece, in that a single bank