France expects 'responsible' Irish action on bailout
France's finance minister said Thursday she was confident Ireland would act in a "responsible" way if officials decide it needs a financial rescue, and said there was no risk to eurozone stability.
"If it is decided that a mechanism has to be put in place (to rescue Ireland), I have no doubt that the Irish government will be responsible and make the appropriate decision independently," Christine Lagarde said.
Ireland's government and central bank were due to hold financial crisis talks with a delegation from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Thursday.
"There is no risk of the eurozone falling apart," Lagarde told France Inter radio, insisting Ireland's public finance troubles were different from those that pushed Greece to take an EU bailout in March.
The EU and International Monetary Fund have agreed in principle to provide emergency funds for Ireland if it asks, but Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said he would take no decision until after Thursday's talks.
© 2010 AFP