It appears that Ireland and Portugal are financially a bit edgy, as Irish government debt has a 5.37% default risk premium over German debt; I would assume that the Bloomberg writers were using the Germans as the near-risk-free baseline. Portugese debt has a 4.14% premium.
So far, the Irish and Portugeese haven't asked for help, but those high default risk premia make a lot of observers nervous.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean- Claude Juncker, who chairs the group of euro-area finance ministers, said he doesn’t expect imminent agreement on a bailout for Ireland because Dublin hasn’t asked for support.
“I don’t think we’re nearing an agreement because Ireland didn’t put forward a request,” Juncker told Bloomberg Television in an interview in Frankfurt today. “The Irish think that they can keep the problems they’re facing under their control. They are not near the point where they would ask for external help.”
The Irish needed to extend FDIC-like insurance on the large Irish banking industry when we had the financial meltodown of late 2008; those gaurentees are becoming more expensive than origionally planned and have caused those Irish interest rates to rise.