(Makes clear in 2nd paragraph that Ireland's ratings outlook negative, credit rating not downgraded)
DUSSELDORF, Germany, Feb 16 (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said on Monday euro zone countries would have to pull together if one of them faced a "serious situation," adding that Ireland was in a "difficult situation."
It was the first time Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, directly mentioned helping Ireland, which has seen its credit rating questioned and put on negative outlook at some agencies on worries of a deepening recession.
Speaking at a conference to members of his centre-left SPD party, Steinbrueck also said he was worried over long-term inflation due to low interest rates and large stimulus packages. (Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, writing by Brian Rohan; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)