The European Union (EU) cannot survive if it fails to solve the debt crisis plaguing the continent, warned EU president Herman Van Rompuy.
“We're in a survival crisis,” Van Rompuy said in a Brussels speech just hours before the euro zone finance ministers meeting.
“We all have to work together in order to survive with the euro zone, because if we don't survive with the euro zone we will not survive with the European Union. But I'm very confident we will overcome this.”
EU finance ministers meet in Brussels with Ireland's debt crisis and the stability of the euro will likely be the top items on the agenda.
Germany’s Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said it is Ireland’s call to decide whether the country should apply for a EU bailout – however, he added that he did not think such a measure was needed.
“It is up to Ireland to take a decision on EU aid, but I believe it is not needed,” Bruederle told a news conference after a meeting with Italy's industry minister.
The European Central Bank has told Ireland that aid would be available, but Irish Prime Minsiter Brian Cowen stated last night his government Ireland will not be making an application to Europe or to the International Monetary Fund.
Cowen said the Dublin will continue to work with partners to find ways of bringing stability to financial markets.
Irish finance minister Brian Lenihan continues to assert that Ireland is fully funded until July of next year and does not need a bailout.
Meanwhile, Elena Salgado, finance minister of Spain, said there is “no reason” for her country to be impacted by the debt crises that have ensnared Ireland and Portugal.
“The situation in Spain is and will continue to be completely different,” she said, adding that there is “absolutely no reason” to compare the situation in the two countries with Spain.
“We have adopted austerity measures in May and we are applying them,” she added.