European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn has said the technical talks due to get under way in Dublin tomorrow between the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the Government, will focus on two main areas.

The first area is the fiscal position, while the second is the banking sector and the need for restructuring.

Mr Rehn said the whole banking sector will be looked at to ascertain its real needs.

However, he would not be drawn on what 'restructuring' might involve or on the question of what conditions might be attached should a rescue package be required.

But Mr Rehn stressed that neither of the two EU rescue mechanisms, the European Financial Stability Mechanism or the European Financial Stability Facility, could be used to provide direct lending to the banking sector.

'They can only do so through a country programme, but one with a special emphasis on strengthening the banking sector,' Mr Rehn said.

He was speaking during a news conference following this morning's Ecofin meeting of all 27 EU finance ministers.

Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders, who was chairing the talks, said the difference between the Greek case and Ireland is that Europe is ready to act if a request is made from the Irish Government.

The European Commission President said that it is not putting pressure on Ireland to resort to the financial system's mechanism.

José Manuel Barroso reiterated that the EU mechanism is available and ready to be used if requested.

He said: 'The Irish Government is indeed making enormous efforts. I feel confident that the four-year fiscal plan of the Irish Government will be presented soon and next year's budget will prove that 2014 target date for correcting excessive deficit is firm and credible.

'But Ireland is addressing a very specific problem as far as the banking sector is concerned. This must be done speedily and decisively to pave the way of full confidence to be restored.

'In this context, the Irish authorities are committed to working with the Commission, ECB and IMF, to determine the best way to deal with market risks, especially as regards the banking sector.'

Earlier, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said Europe is determined to address the Irish debt crisis with Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Lenihan said there was determination by the Government to engage in a short and focused consultation with the Commission, the ECB and the IMF.

He said the IMF was involved because it had more experience than the ECB in dealing with banks that have caused difficulties and that are at the centre of the Irish debt problem.

Mr Lenihan was in Brussels yesterday evening for talks on Ireland's debt crisis with other EU finance ministers.

He said the other EU governments had endorsed the Government's Budget plans and its approach to dealing with the banks.

The minister said it was only right that institutions that may get involved in providing funds for Ireland to tackle its banking and fiscal crisis should be able to establish the facts on the ground for themselves.

But he said Ireland had not applied for any funding and it was not certain that the country would seek funding from the EU and IMF in the wake of the joint mission.

Chairman of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker said the Irish Government has to make a definite decision on this in the coming days.

Klaus Regling, who heads the European Financial Stability Fund, said he had toured investors in Asia and the US and said he was confident he could raise money in a matter of days if a country applied for funding.

Britain would provide support

Elsewhere, Britain's Chancellor George Osborne said Britain stands ready to participate in any eurozone and IMF efforts to rescue Ireland's beleaguered banking sector.

Commissioner Rehn also said a potential British role in a bailout was 'under discussion'.

Mr Osborne told reporters that London, which is not part of the eurozone but is a member of the wider EU, would do 'what is in Britain's national interest'.

'Ireland is our closest neighbour. And it's in Britain's national interest that the Irish economy is successful and we have a stable banking system,' he said.

'So Britain stands ready to support Ireland,' Mr Osborne added.

Speaking to reporters, the British Chancellor said there were a number of avenues open to the UK on supporting Ireland and they were looking at all of those.

Mr Osborne said he had a number of discussions with Mr Lenihan on the fringes of the Ecofin meeting in Brussels.

He said Ireland is the only country 'with which we share a land border'.

Mr Osborne would not be drawn on whether this would be a bilateral loan or some kind of one-to-one mechanism.

He said 'we're doing this entirely off our own bat'.