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Slovenia to Secure Up to EUR 250M in Loan Guarantees for Ireland

Ljubljana, 22 November (STA) - Slovenia will help Ireland with loan guarantees of between EUR 200m and 250m, Prime Minister Borut Pahor announced after the Irish government accepted an EU-led bailout.

"This is a guarantee for the euro's stability," Pahor told a press conference in Ljubljana on Monday, reiterating that Slovenia could not imagine its economic stability without the euro.

Pahor welcomed Sunday's decision by the Irish government to accept loans from the EU and the International Monetary Fund, saying that Slovenia was willing to respond within the existing common mechanisms.

However, the PM also underscored that the country was not offering a loan but a guarantee that would be payable only if Ireland was not able to repay its loans.

The amount of the guarantee is only a rough estimate because the eventual sum of the bail-out has not been fixed yet, the PM said.

Irish authorities estimate the country would need somewhat less than a hundred billion euros, the bulk of which is likely to be secured in the mechanism to ensure the stability of the euro.

"The Slovenian government is doing all in its power to bring Slovenia slowly but surely from the crisis," Pahor said, adding that "not all countries were equally successful" on the path to recovery.

He said that the budget documents for the coming two years that were passed in parliament last week would enable Slovenia to complete recovery and reduce deficit to 3.5% of GDP by 2012.

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