November 29, 2010 / 7:22 AM / 9 years ago

Lagarde: Ireland aid sufficient, confident on Portugal

Nov 29 (Reuters) - PARIS, Nov 29 (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said on Monday that the 85 billion euro EU-IMF bailout for Ireland was “sufficient” and that “irrational” markets were not correctly pricing the sovereign debt situation in Europe.

“The amount (of the bailout) is sufficient because that will keep Ireland afloat for three years,” she told RTL radio. “I am confident in the ability of the Portuguese government to implement a rigorous (austerity) plan.”

Lagarde said it was wrong to price the cost of Spanish debt at the same level as more risky countries such as Pakistan and Romania.

“Europe is difficult to understand for the markets. They work in an irrational way sometimes,” Lagarde told RTL radio.

She strongly denied there was any threat of contagion for France. “To say that France is threatened is eye-catching but I do not think that is fair in economic terms.”

Reporting by Daniel Flynn and Laure Bretton

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