Irish readers discuss potential bail-out

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Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan
Image caption,
The Irish government has repeatedly denied that it is seeking outside support

European finance ministers meeting in Brussels say they have not held detailed discussions on a potential bail-out for the Irish Republic.

Didier Reynders, who chaired the talks, said the situation was not addressed because the Irish government had not requested financial help.

BBC News website readers in Ireland have been reacting to developments in Brussels and giving their views on the best solution to their country's economic problems. Here is a selection of their comments:

A bail-out is still unavoidable. But the size of the mess and the clean-up of the banking system and public expenditure is where the real work will happen. Anyone can ask a richer partner for a hand-out. How this is effectively repaid and at what cost is the issue. Andy, Portmarnock

One of the main reasons we are in this state is because we cannot believe what we are being told by our government. No later than last Friday we were told "we do not need a bailout" and now the EU and IMF are on their way to our battered little country. The sooner the IMF intervenes, the better. At least when that happens we will have at least some positive direction and hopefully we can work our way out of this terrible situation. Bring on the bail-out, or whatever you want to call it. Brendan Ryan, Saleen

I am embarrassed to be Irish. As someone who has just graduated from college, I and thousands of other young people my age are preparing to emigrate. I did not vote for the current government in the last two general elections, but those who did are now complaining about the cutbacks and what this government has done not only to our finances but to our reputation. Culturally we have a huge amount to offer. This, however, is ignored by the current government even though it's all we have left. Sarah, Cork

If the EU member states insist on Ireland taking a bail-out, then it must be without any condition whatsoever and at very low or interest-free rates. We will not be bullied by other countries who cannot control themselves. We are interested in what is best for Ireland and not what is best for Portugal, Spain or the rest. Sink or swim, we'll all go down together. Robert, Dublin

The Irish government has led us to this sorry pass. Severe budget cuts have harmed and will continue to harm the most vulnerable in society, especially the old and the young, while the people who created the crisis get away scot-free. No one will miss the corruption or cronyism that has destroyed this once great nation. Joe Cummins, Wexford

As an Irish person living in Ireland, the most frustrating thing about the whole affair is the total feeling of helplessness that ordinary citizens feel. We are not allowed to participate in the goings-on, but we and our children will all be forced to suffer the consequences. It gives us a nervous sickly feeling right down to the base of our stomachs. God help us all. Dave McInerney, Cork

Give Ireland time to sort out these issues on her own. We have not handed over our sovereignty to Europe (yet). This whole EU and media pressure disgusts me. Ireland is in a mess. However, it is Ireland's responsibility to sort it out. The country does need support, but not of the financial kind. Calm the market hype and give us the time to resolve the situation. Aoife Brennan, Ireland

The government is still hung up on repaying all the money owed to the private investors in Irish banks. This doesn't seem feasible any longer as the amount of bad loans and the cost of bailing out the banks increase. The private sector and public sector are both responsible. Both sectors should therefore share the costs in fixing the mess. If the private sector doesn't lose anything, what is to stop them fuelling the next banking boom and property bust? Jeffrey Hoare, Dublin

Should Ireland need financial assistance then Ireland should accept it. Fianna Fail just don't want to have it said that Ireland accepted financial assistance on their watch. They are putting forward the notion that Irish sovereignty is being compromised. This is a backlash to politics of the past, no longer relevant in the context of modern European integration in an EU context. Ireland has been to the forefront of helping others in the past. Now it is our turn to accept help. Irish people are a great people, highly educated, entrepreneurs and go-getters. The sovereignty of the Irish state is not at stake. Wake up Fianna Fail. Brian Byrne, Dundalk

In Ireland the banks have been getting away with murder. They keep getting bailed out and it is the working men and women who have to foot the bill. The EU is wise to the golden circle of the rich here and is now going to do something about it. Maybe they'll insist on some prosecutions in the banking sector, like the Americans have. Or maybe nothing will happen, again, and the workers will get blamed and have to foot the bill. John Lloyd, Dublin

It appears we are being forced to take this money to save Portugal and Spain on the bond markets, but there is no guarantee that doing this will prevent the same thing happening to these other countries in a few weeks when the fickle markets choose their next target. I also believe that if bully-boy tactics are used by other member states to force Ireland to borrow, we can kiss goodbye to any positive outcomes in European referendums for the next 10 years. Our problem is coming from the insolvency of the banks. Banks must be allowed to fail and to hell with the bond holders. They earned money when things were going well and now they stand to lose when things go bad. This is the nature of investment. Darren, Dublin

What is necessary here is a general election. The government has 18% support and has no mandate to make the type of long-term plans which are necessary. I think we need outside intervention to sort out this crisis because it is lie after lie from the bankers and politicians. Tim, Cork

Calm heads are needed regarding the Irish financial crisis. The negative mood in the media both in Ireland and now spreading internationally is driving the financial markets' views on Ireland's lending rates. Back to basics economic values are needed with a strong budget and a new government. Ireland will survive this. It is not the end of the world. We need to stay positive. Most importantly, the Irish banking sector needs sorting out and those responsible should be held accountable and have their enormous pensions chopped for public coffers. Frank, Cork

The Irish economy has been plunged into this crisis by a series of bad investment decisions made by a comparatively small group of people over the past few years. The Irish taxpayer, the vast majority of whom had no part to play in any of this speculation, has been asked to bail out the banks and repay the original investors through tax increases and other austerity measures. Maybe it's time that the bondholders and other institutional investors carried some of the cost of their poor investment decisions. P Murphy, Dublin

The Irish government says it has enough money until the middle of next year, at which point it will probably need a bail-out. Pride is what is stopping the government taking the bail-out now rather than in six months time. John Paul Costin, Dungarvan

Nobody in Ireland wants this bail-out - not the people and not the government. It appears it is being foisted on us to protect the larger EU states. As it appears inevitable, we must insist on the best possible deal for our people, including no more sovereign debt to protect the banks. Risky lenders must suffer the consequences of such risk, not the general public. John, Dublin

Hard decisions need to be made to stave off any further contagion to other so-called vulnerable economies. The Germans and French must understand that the European project is not just about them and that the smaller economies of this project are subject to far greater stresses than the larger economies and that provisions need to be made to buffer the smaller economies of the euro zone. Additionally the bond markets must have accountability built into them to avoid repeats of the recent market bullying that has taken place. Ireland should accept help but not at any cost. Marc Power, Dublin