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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Government did not believe euro would collapse - Noonan

The finance minister said the euro was a “firm and solid currency”, even ahead of last week’s landmark EU agreement.

THE GOVERNMENT HAD “no expectation” that the European single currency would collapse and force a possible return to the punt ahead of Friday’s landmark EU deal, according to Michael Noonan.

The Minister for Finance said the euro was a “firm and solid currency” and was “trading well against all the other currencies”.

“There is clearly no market expectation and there is certainly no Irish Government expectation, of any collapse in the euro,” he said

Minister Noonan was responding to questions last week about whether the Government had contingency plans in place, amid speculation that the euro could be forced to the edge of meltdown by the ongoing EU debt crisis.

He said: “There are many risks in the broad economic environment at present, which I must take into account in conjunction with my Department and the agencies that report to me.”

Noonan also noted that the Central Bank was still printing euro. Last week, the bank denied claims in a US newspaper that it was considering buying new printing presses to produce an alternative currency in the event of a euro collapse.

“We are not printing punts,” a spokeswoman told at the time.

More: “We are not printing punts” – Central Bank responds to WSJ ‘printing press’ report>

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