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DEBT CRISIS

IRELAND'S credit rating will improve and the country could return to borrowing on the markets in 2013, ratings agency Fitch said.

But the agency urged Europe to introduce a system of restructuring country debt.

"Assuming no material deterioration of the eurozone crisis, I think it is feasible for Ireland to be back in the markets in 2013, if they continue to do the right things and are able to make progress on deficit reduction," said Tony Stringer, a country debt analyst.

"If they continue to make progress and regain market access their rating could improve over the medium term."

Recently, Fitch downgraded Ireland to the second-lowest level of investment grade debt.

But Stringer warned: "We are back where we were in 2008 in terms of a freezing up in credit markets. Banks are wary of lending to each other. There are concerns that it is comparable with what happened after the Lehman's collapse."