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Brussels, 17 November 2010

Statement by President Barroso on Ireland

Before taking any definitive position on that I think we should assess the situation and that is precisely what we are doing. And that was the conclusion of yesterday's Eurogroup meeting.

So, let's assess the situation before we jump to conclusions. This is the purpose of the talks that are taking place. I want to be absolutely clear; we are not putting pressure on Ireland to resort to the financial assistance mechanism. But I reiterate that the EU mechanism is available and ready to be used if requested.

I would really like to welcome the conclusions that have been reached in the ECOFIN Council.

The Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen has set out the current situation. The Irish Government is indeed making enormous efforts. I feel confident that the four-year fiscal plan of the Irish Government will be presented soon and next year's budget will prove that 2014 target date for correcting excessive deficit is firm and credible. The Europgroup yesterday indeed welcomed the determination of the Irish authorities to stick to the Council recommendations.

But Ireland is addressing a very specific problem as far as the banking sector is concerned. This must be done speedily and decisively to pave the way of full confidence to be restored.

In this context, the Irish authorities are committed to working with the Commission, ECB and IMF, to determine the best way to deal with market risks, especially as regards the banking sector. That was the message we've got just yesterday in the Eurogroup. And indeed I welcome the clear will of the Eurogroup to take determined and coordinated action to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area. We have the necessary financial backstops to do so.

Following the decision at the last European Council it is also important to reiterate our determination to achieve this goal. So let's see what are the conclusions of the technical work that is taking place.

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