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Dublin: 20 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

Honohan 'not laying ground for bailout', insists Lenihan

Brian Lenihan says the comments of the central bank governor were not softening the ground for IMF intervention.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive

THE MINISTER FOR FINANCE has been forced to clarify that comments made by central bank governor Patrick Honohan yesterday – that the IMF was “always there” as a backup if Ireland could not raise its own cash – was not paying the way for a global bailout.

Honohan yesterday told the Oireachtas joint committee on economic regulatory affairs that the IMF was ready to help fund the country if the cost of borrowing for the state did not return to a sustainable level before the country goes back to the bond markets in the New Year.

His comments had been interpreted by some as a potential softening of the ground for an intervention by the IMF, forcing Lenihan to this morning insist that was not the meaning of the governor’s comments.

Reuters reports the minister as saying that Ireland had the capacity to restore itself back on a credible footing, and implying that no emergency borrowing from backup sources such as the IMF would be required.

The instability on the Irish bond market at the moment, Lenihan insisted, was due to uncertainty of sovereign debt throughout the Eurozone.

The price of government bonds has hovered around the 8.9% mark this afternoon.

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Gavan Reilly

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