Bloomberg News

Kenny Says Ireland Won’t Default as It Seeks to Ease Bank Burden

March 31, 2012

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the country “will not default,” as it continues to negotiate with its international bailout partners “to find a cheaper way of financing the cost” of bailing out its banks.

Ireland has committed about 64 billion euros ($85 billion) of capital to its banks over the past three years, including 1.3 billion euros it is preparing to put into the banking arm of Irish Life & Permanent Plc.

An Irish referendum at the end of May on the European Union fiscal compact is “a brilliant opportunity to say to the world that Ireland believes in the future of the euro” and that it “is four-square with Europe, as together we build a system that will bring responsible budgeting,” Kenny said in an e-mailed text of a speech today in Dublin at the annual meeting of his Fine Gael party.

By passing the referendum, Ireland would have access to the “insurance policy” of the permanent euro-area bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, which is “a critical reassurance for investors,” Kenny said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Brennan in Dublin at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at

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