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Ireland Says In Crisis Talks With EU, Refuses Aid

Ireland and the European Union have confirmed they are in close communication on ways to resolve the Irish debt crisis.

Media reports have suggested that EU partners are pressing Ireland to seek a bailout of up to 80 billion euros ($110 billion) in order to safeguard the stability of the joint European currency, but Ireland has dismissed the reports as "fiction."

Ireland has denied it is negotiating a potential bailout from the EU emergency rescue fund.

European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio also said today in Brussels that reports about a bailout were "an exaggeration."

"Yes, we are in close contact with the Irish authorities. Yes, there are concerns in the euro area about the financial stability of the euro area as a whole, once again," Altafaj Tardio said.

"But to say that there are pressures, strong pressures to push Ireland to any kind of [bailout] scheme of this kind, I think yes, this is an exaggeration."

Fears have been mounting for weeks that Ireland could become the next eurozone country after Greece to be bailed out, further undermining the euro.

The Irish debt crisis is expected to be discussed at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels on November 16.

compiled from agency reports