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EU Heavyweights Seek To Reassure Markets Over Irish Crisis

The Irish capital, Dublin

The Irish capital, Dublin

The European Union's biggest economies -- Germany, France, Britain, Italy, and Spain -- today sought to reassure jittery markets over Ireland's financial crisis, saying no private money would be required in case of a bailout for Ireland.

The countries' finance ministers issued a joint statement on the sidelines of a summit in Seoul of the Group of 20, the world's leading economies.

There has been growing concern that Ireland, like Greece earlier this year, could require an international rescue package to avoid pankruptcy over a huge public deficit.

In the wake of the Greek crisis, the European Union agreed a 750-billion-euro ($1 billion) fund to provide assistance to eurozone states in diffuculties, but investors grew nervous after Germany said that private investors should bare a share of bailouts.

Germany today said its position had been "misunderstood."

compiled from agency reports