GERMANY’S NEWS MAGAZINE ‘Der Spiegel’ has adopted a hardline stance on Ireland’s attitude to the prospect of requiring an international bailout for its beleaguered banking sector.
‘The Irish Should Stop Bashing Those Who Want to Help Them’, reads the magazine’s lead story on the topic, condemning the government’s insistence that it does not need assistance “even as a team of EU and IMF experts heads to Dublin for talks”.
Ireland’s resistance to accepting foreign aid – perceived as belligerence by the magazine – will result in toughened relationships with the European nations on which it will be relying, adding elsewhere that Ireland’s “obstinacy” was “unsettling the Eurozone”.
‘Ireland opens door to IMF mission’, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Daily Telegraph, who believes Brian Cowen’s defiance is merely a premier trying “to put the best face on the humiliation, insisting that the Irish state is fully-funded until June”.
Regardless of the state’s funding, he believes, the two biggest banks – Bank of Ireland and AIB – will between them need extra liquidity, as the pair lost €20bn in deposits between them in the early autumn.
The UK’s angle…
The New York Times, meanwhile, focusses on Britain’s prospective involvement. ‘Britain pledges to support Ireland in debt crisis’ is its own headline, covering Chancellor George Osborne’s comment that there were “a number of different avenues open, and we’re looking at all of those”.
“Our engagement in this is because we are good neighbours of Ireland, and not because we have particular concerns about any particular UK bank,” it quotes Osborne as offering.
It notes, however, that the “very public struggle to tame volatile markets has highlighted how the bloc has again found itself confronting a crisis of confidence in the euro and, ultimately, in its ability to manage its economic problems in a timely fashion.”
Similarly, the Wall Street Journal’s article – ‘Osborne says UK is ready to help Ireland’ – focusses on quotes that it was, Osborne believes, “in Britain’s national interest that the Irish economy is successful and that we have a stable banking system.”
It goes on to point out, however, that it is unclear how much of a potential bailout that the Eurozone would ask the UK and other non-Euro nations to offer: “Unlike Sweden and Poland – which are also outside the currency area – the UK hasn’t signed up to support the European Financial Stability Facility,” it notes.
…and the UK’s angle
Perhaps ironically, given the outside focus on the UK’s role in a potential bailout, the BBC instead focuses on the EU’s public offerings.
‘EU plays down Irish Republic bailout talks’ is its own headline, leading with the admission by Ecofin that ministers “did not hold detailed discussions on a potential bail-out for the Irish Republic.”
That prospect had not been discussed, it says, because the government hadn’t asked for it.
Either way, the only major international consensus that is Ireland is under pressure, as is blatantly laid out by the Financial Times’ headline, ‘Ireland feels pressure on rescue package’.
“Pressure mounted on Ireland on Wednesday to agree to a joint European Union-International Monetary Fund rescue package, as fresh evidence emerged of fading confidence in the country’s banking system,” it writes, returning to the Telegraph’s theme that the flight of deposits will almost certainly mean difficulties funding the banks without foreign assistance.