Ireland’s anxious Finance Minister Brian Lenihan arrived in Brussels on Sunday to discover his country’s financial fate.
The EU has approved a joint rescue loan worth an estimated 85 billion euros.
Finance ministers also discussed the possiblity of a bailout for Portugal in a bid to boost the ailing euro.
“We are working towards a solution and hope that as of tomorrow the financial markets will be confident again that the euro is a currency with a stable future,” Germany’s Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schäuble told reporters.
EU leaders are now hoping Ireland’s rescue package will bolster the markets to stop problems spreading to Spain as well.
Ministers also agreed in principle to a Franco-German proposal to set a permanent mechanism to deal with further crises.
Crucially, it would commit private bond holders to share the burden of any future sovereign debt restructuring of a eurozone country.
Ireland, in particular, wants bond investors who lent money to Irish banks to take on a bigger share of their bailout burden, rather than foisting it all on Irish taxpayers.
Demonstrations in Dublin on Saturday showed how angry they are with their government’s handling of the crisis. With early elections due in the New Year the Irish people will soon be able to have their say on the deal.