Noonan fires warning over Greek bailout
A GREEK bailout that threatens Irish interests "will not be tolerated", Finance Minister Michael Noonan has warned.
Mr Noonan is in Luxembourg today for crunch talks with eurozone finance ministers on the future of embattled Greece.
He said he expected a second package for Greece would be in place within the coming weeks.
But he warned he would resist any tough measure being imposed on Greece which could be replicated against Ireland.
"The primary Irish interest here is to ensure any solution which is put in place doesn't contain elements which would affect us adversely," he said.
"We'll certainly be saying no contagion for Ireland, regardless of what the provisions are.
"It'll depend on the measures that are put in place, but in very simple language, we don't want any knock-on effects from the Greek deal which would work against Ireland's interests. I think, so far, that is not going to happen," he added.
Skittish investors will be keenly watching ratings agencies which have warned that any deal that hurts lenders in Greece will instantly result in default by the government there.
Any new shock in Greece would reduce Ireland from "investment grade" rating status to "junk".
This would ultimately end hopes of gradually returning to the markets to borrow money over the next two years.
The eurozone finance ministers said that they do not expect an immediate agreement on the terms of a second bailout.
"This is about commencing the process. I hope that over the next few weeks, by July 11, a full solution would be put in place which will be credible and long term," the Finance Minister said.
This morning, eurozone finance ministers postponed the final decision on a €12bn loan to Greece until it introduces €28bn in austerity measures.