OTTAWA, Nov. 22 -- Finance ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations Sunday welcomed Ireland's decision to accept financial assistance from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In a statement released by the Ministry of Finance of Canada, the 2010 G7 chair, the ministers said they welcomed the announcement that the government of Ireland is applying for financial assistance from the EU and the IMF.
"We welcome and fully support the announcement that the European authorities and the IMF will provide the necessary financial resources for Ireland to implement its fiscal reform plans and stabilize its banking system," they said.
They held that the coordinated action of European countries and the IMF reflects their shared resolve to act swiftly and decisively to mitigate emerging risks, maintain market stability, and safeguard the global recovery.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Sunday night confirmed the European Union (EU) has agreed to the Irish government's request for a financial aid package from the EU and IMF.
Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, Cowen said the rescue package, which will run for three years, will be tied to a banks restructuring and deficit reduction plan.
The financial assistance package to Ireland will be financed from the European financial stabilization mechanism (EFSM) and the European financial stability facility (EFSF), possibly supplemented by bilateral loans to be negotiated by EU member states.
Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said Britain and Sweden have also offered to help fund the package.
The EU and euro area financial support will be provided under a strong policy program which will be negotiated with the Irish authorities by the European Commission and the IMF in liaison with the European Central Bank.
The program will address the budgetary challenges of the Irish economy in a decisive manner on the basis of the ambitious budgetary adjustment and comprehensive structural reforms that will be contained in the Irish government's Four-Year Budgetary Strategy.
Cowen said the Irish government will publish its four-year recovery plan for the economy early next week.
The Irish government held a cabinet meeting on Sunday afternoon to sign off on the details of the four-year strategy to deal with the debt crisis.
The plan is designed to bring Ireland's budget deficit back to within 3 percent of GDP by 2014.