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EU Commission: no talks on others asking for EU aid

Source: Reuters - Thu 25th Nov 2010

There are no discussions on more countries seeking EU financial aid following Ireland's request for help, the European Commission said on Thursday.

Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj also played down reports that there was a difference of opinion between EU institutions and the International Monetary Fund over whether Irish banks' senior bondholders should share the burden of bank restructuring as part of Ireland's rescue package.

Asked whether there was disagreement between the European Commission and the European Central Bank on one side and the IMF on the other over the issue of senior bondholders potentially taking a writedown, he said the team was united.

"We are discussing with the Irish authorities as a single team - the Commission, the ECB and the IMF. There is very, very close coordination, as you can imagine, before any meeting, between the Commission, the IMF and ECB officials" he said.

"So I would be rather surprised if there were any differences of approach on this issue or any other issue because there is very close coordination.

"We negotiate as one single team, with one single message, and we have to reach at the end of the day one single set of conditionality meaures, which would be reflected in one single memorandum of understanding" Altafaj said.

Separately, European Central Bank Governing Council member Axel Weber said on Wednesday he believed euro zone states could come up with more money if the existing 750-billion-euro EU-IMF safety net ever proved insufficient.

But asked if European Union emergency funding facilities could be boosted if more countries applied for EU assistance, Altafaj told a regular news briefing:

"The financial backstops are in place, they are well funded and they are ready to be used if necessary and if requested. There are no discussions currently in that direction."

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