FINANCE MINISTER MICHAEL Noonan has dismissed a suggestion that Ireland will be able to apply for a new bailout from the IMF if the country votes No in the upcoming Stability Treaty referendum.
In a statement this afternoon, Minister Noonan said that comments by an IMF spokesperson in an article in today’s Sunday Times had been misrepresented and that an €800m EU fund will be the only possible source of funds for Ireland when the bailout programme ends next year.
In the article, the spokesperson from the IMF was quoted as saying there was no reason why Ireland could not apply for money from the IMF when the current bailout ends in 2013.
However this afternoon Minister Noonan said the IMF had made it “crystal clear” during its bailout negotiations with Ireland, Greece and Portgual that it would not provide unilateral assistance to Eurozone countries. The IMF has also made clear that it is only prepared to contribute to a bailout if Europea takes the lead and the amount of the IMF contribution depends on the amount of the European contribution.
If Ireland votes no in the referendum, Ireland will not have access to ESM funds. The ESM will be the only source of bailout funds when the Irish programme ends.
The government has repeatedly said that Ireland will not be able to access the EU’s €800 million European Stability Mechanism (ESM) fund if the country votes no in the Stability Treaty referendum on 31 May.
The Minister said that the Government wants to “give certainty” at home and abroad in order to build confidence in Ireland.
“A No vote is a leap into the unknown,” said Minister Noonan.