Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has said the Government is "annoyed" by the comments of the ECB chief economist Juergen Stark who called for cuts in public sector pay in Ireland.

Speaking in Brussels, Mr Gilmore said the remarks by Jurgen Stark were unhelpful and that the Troika of the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF had not asked the Government to push for public sector pay cuts.

"Inventing new agendas isn't helpful," Mr Gilmore said.

Attending a meeting of foreign and European affairs ministers, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said the government would be honouring the commitments made in the Croke Park Agreement.

He said legislation was needed to establish a statutory basis for setting wages in the private sector, following the High Court ruling on JLCs.

"Reforms will reduce the number of different pay rates which apply."

He said a Greek default would not affect Ireland directly but could affect the economy indirectly - because of any wider implications for the eurozone.

Meanwhile, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has also dismissed the call by Mr Stark for cuts in public sector pay.

Earlier, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resource also warned against "too much austerity".

"You can come to a situation where you can you can have too much austerity, and that would appear to be the position he is advocating".

Referring to the forthcoming Budget, Mr Rabbitte said €3.6bn in savings would be "painful" and argued against "further (depressing) the economy".

"There is no more low-hanging fruit, and an additional 3.6 (billion euro), to which both parties are permitted, will be extremely painful to try and secure.

"And I think arguments that we should further depress the economy because of an inflexible ideological position, is not the way to go."

Mr Rabbitte confirmed no decision had been made on any potential sale of non-strategic State assets.

The Government has to raise €2bn from the sale of State assets under the terms of last year's bailout deal.

Mr Rabbitte said the State energy companies were of vital importance to the Irish economy.