Cowen plays down spike in cost of borrowing

Cowen plays down spike in cost of borrowing

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has described the cost of borrowing to Ireland increasing to a record high as "part of the ebbs and flows of sentiment".

At one stage today, investor yields being sought on 10-year Irish bonds rose to above 6.1%, the highest it has been in the history of the euro.

Greek and Portugese bonds were also put under simillar pressure.

Fresh concerns about the cost of Anglo Irish Bank, coupled with media articles casting doubt on the accuracy of the results of recent "stress tests" by the ECB - are being blamed.

But Mr Cowen insisted it was all part of the operation of the market.

"There has been turbulence generally in international bond markets for some time," he said, describing the rise in the cost of borrowing as part of the ebb and flow of sentiment.

He also tried to calm market fears that Ireland would fail to get its financial affairs in order.

"We are absolutely committed to maintaining our plans (and) imposing the budgetary discipline that we set out with the European Commission," Mr Cowen said.

The Taoiseach also described Finance Minister Brian Lenihan's discussions with Europe on Anglo as having "gone well" and said they should be brought to a conclusion quickly.


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