Belfast Telegraph

No new bailout needed, says Dublin

Ireland's Finance Minister has dismissed as ludicrous claims that the country will need a second bailout.

Amid speculation from a senior executive at one of the world's biggest banks, Michael Noonan suggested the new year was bringing a traditional spate of economic analysis.

Mr Noonan insisted Ireland has enough money to fully fund the country for almost two years.

"It's ludicrous to be talking about a second bailout when we're in and meeting all the targets of the first programme," he said.

"We're a year into a rescue programme which was negotiated by the previous Government and we are fully funded into the back end of 2013. It's really speculation by economists who at the start of the new year speculate on these matters."

Mr Noonan was forced to dismiss the suggestion on the back of an interview given earlier this week by Citigroup chief economist Willem Buiter who said Ireland should consider a second bailout.

During a visit to Dublin on Monday, Mr Buiter said it is clear Ireland needs further financial assistance outside market conditions. The Citigroup executive claimed the Irish Government should open negotiations and plan for a rescue re-run rather than face a last minute application.

Ireland has a total bailout programme worth 85 billion euro (70 billion) after being frozen out of international money markets in late 2010.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who is meeting Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street on Thursday for talks to be dominated by the economy and euro crisis, dismissed the speculation.

"I don't see there is any need for a second bailout here. We are meeting our commitments and the challenges," the Taoiseach said.

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