Ireland has not asked for bailout: French economy minister

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Ireland has not asked the European Union for help in overcoming a crisis in its public finances, French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Monday.

Lagarde, reappointed on Sunday as French Economy and Finance Minister, told France Info radio that "there is no request for help."

Lagarde noted that Ireland had taken additional budget measures to contain its public deficit, amounting to about 30 percent of output this year, and stressed that these measures would have to be enacted with success.

Therefore, close attention would have to be given to "the restructuring in Ireland which is under way now."

The government in Dublin has denied repeatedly in recent days that it needs or has asked for help from a mechanism set up by the European Union for eurozone countries with the involvement of the International Monetary Fund.

On Monday, Ireland's government said it had been in contact with "international colleagues" over its economic difficulties while it insisted it had not made an application for a European Union bailout.

© 2010 AFP

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