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Friday 24 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris A man passes next to riot police officers that block the way to the Greek Parliament in central Athens on 15 June, 2011.
# Debt Crisis
Fresh warning of Greek debt contagion - for Ireland
Jean-Claude Juncker says “we’re playing with fire”.

THE HEAD OF the Eurozone finance ministers’ group Jean-Claude Juncker has warned that Ireland is one of five countries which could be seriously affected by the Greek debt crisis, if that crisis isn’t carefully managed.

In an interview with Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung today, Juncker warned that contagion from a Greek default could spread to at least five other European countries.

“We are playing with fire,” he said.

Greek default “could prove contagious for Portugal and Ireland, and then also for Belgium and Italy because of their high debt burden, even before Spain.

Yesterday, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy climbed down from their earlier positions and agreed that Greece would need a second bailout package. The German and French leaders said they want it pushed through as soon as possible. Greece agreed a €110bn bailout deal with the EU, ECB and IMF last year but is expected to require a second bailout given the high cost of its borrowing.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the credit ratings agency Moody’s warned it may cut Italy’s sovereign credit rating due to a likely rise in interest rates and the possible impact of ongoing fears over eurozone debt.

EU finance ministers are meeting tomorrow and on Monday to continue their discussions on the crisis and the EU’s 27 leaders are meeting for a summit next week.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read more: Merkel and Sarkozy want new rescue package for Greece >

Read more: Van Rompuy on Ireland’s interest rate: “We need a deal” >

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