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Highlights: Euro zone finance ministers approve Ireland bailout

European Union finance ministers approved an 85 billion euro bailout for Ireland at a meeting in Brussels on Sunday. Following are comments by ministers and other officials after the talks.
/ Source: Reuters

European Union finance ministers approved an 85 billion euro bailout for Ireland at a meeting in Brussels on Sunday. Following are comments by ministers and other officials after the talks.


"With this decision, we have established clarity for the markets ... and it makes clear to our tax payers that we have kept our word, just as we did with the law to restructure our banking system ... that we have drawn the lessons and consequences from the financial crisis."

"It's a good day for Europe. It shows that the European policy of the German government led by Angela Merkel is a clever one."

"The Portuguese finance minister reported today about that what the situation in Portugal is, which measures Portugal is taking and will take, and that Portugal does not see any need to ask for such (EU) help. We trust the statements of the Portuguese government."


"This package will stabilize the situation so that we do not face a total catastrophe."

"Nevertheless, we are not sure whether this disease is already so widely spread that some other (country) might get into trouble at some point."


"The items you mentioned weren't on the agenda for the Eurogroup or Ecofin but I'd just like to say that in Ecofin we were able to listen to the position of the Spanish government and we welcome the announcement made by the Spanish government that there will be increased transparency for public accounts ... and also they said that they are going to restructure regional banks, savings banks.

"All of the members of the Eurogroup simply wanted the Spanish government to include these measures in their medium term budget strategy.

"We welcomed Portugal's announcement of significant structural reforms in the health sector, in the transport sector, and also the recasting of the budget framework with new authorities and the Eurogroup invited the Portuguese government to include these measures in a bigger structural reform programme, in liaison with the European Commission, to increase growth and productivity in the country."


"As you know, I asked for clarification of the doctrine to utilize this permanent crisis mechanism and it has been assessed by a number of observers and commentators and it was very necessary that there would be a full clarification of the doctrine.

"The main point ... is that we are applying in Europe the doctrine which has been based on the experience of the IMF at a global level, so that we have exactly the same kind of assessment of the sustainability of the debt, the same kind of involvement of the private sector with no involvement ex-ante in the form of restructuring or rescheduling."


"We have decided that this mechanism, the ESM, the European Stability Mechanism, will be based on the EFSF and will be capable of providing financial assistance to euro area member states under strict conditions similar to those current pertained in the EFSM.

"The ESM will complement the new framework of reinforced economic governance aiming at an effective and rigorous economic surveillance. This will focus on prevention and will substantially reduce the probability of future crisis."

"Rules will be adapted to make it possible for, on a case-by-case basis, it will be ex-ante, participation of private sector creditors, fully consistent with IMF practices, fully, absolutely in the practices followed by the IMF.

"In all cases in order to protect taxpayers' money, in order to send a clear signal to private creditors (that) their claims are subordinate to those of the official sector, and ESM loans will be given preferred creditor statues. It will be junior only to the IMF."


"Ministers concur with the commission and the European Central Bank that providing a loan to Ireland is warranted to safeguard financial stability in the euro area and in the European Union as a whole.

"Euro area and the European Union financial support will be provided on the basis of the programme which has been negotiated with the Irish authorities by the Commission and the IMF and the ECB.

"Ministers unanimously endorsed the measures announced today, on the strong fundamentals of the Irish economy."

"The programme rests on three pillars for an immediate strengthening and comprehensive overhaul of the banking system, second hand ambitions fiscal adjustment to restore fiscal sustainability including for the correction of the excessive deficit by 2015. Third growth amounting reforms in particular on the labor market to allow a return to a robust and sustainable growth safeguarding the economic apposition of its citizens.

"The financial package of the programme will cover financing needs up to 85 bln euros including 10 bln euros for immediate recapitalization measures, 25 bln on a contingency basis for bank assistance support and 50 bln covering budget financing.

"Half of the banking support measures, that means 17.5 bln euros, will be financed by an Irish contribution through the treasury cash ... and national pensions reserve fund.

"The remainder of the overall package should be shared equally among the EFSM and the EFSF together with bilateral loans from the UK of 3.844 bln euros ...

"The main elements of conditionality as endorsed today will be enshrined in Eurogroup and Council decisions to be formally adopted on the 6th and 7th of December."