Spain's foreign minister, whose country is considered at risk in Europe's debt crisis, said today that the decision by Ireland to accept a bail-out would stabilise the euro.

Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez welcomed the decision by the European Union to come to the aid of Ireland as 'good news' and said the exact amount of the bail-out would be settled in 'the coming days'.

'The euro will stabilise thanks to the help of all European Union nations,' she said as she arrived for a regular monthly meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

For its part, Spain was 'achieving all the objectives' necessary to fix its own fiscal problems, she said when asked whether Madrid could follow Ireland's footsteps an ask for a rescue.

And Portugal, seen as the euro zone economy most at risk after Ireland, has hailed a bailout plan to aid Dublin, saying it 'calms fears, reduces incertitude and boosts market confidence.'

Portugal's Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said in a statement that the package was 'without doubt a positive fact for the stability of the euro zone.'

Dos Santos did not mention the possibility that Portugal might also request external aid to avoid the risk of bankruptcy. On the contrary, he emphasised the differences between his country and Ireland, recalling that Portugal's banking system was 'well regulated and supervised' and 'well capitalised'.

He stressed the government's 'clear and regulated' strategy to put in place 'budgetary consolidation and structural reforms aimed at strengthening its competitiveness and potential growth.'

Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde says the EU and the IMF sent a 'very strong message' to the money markets in a move designed to prevent the collapse of Irish banks. Minister Lagarde said the move came as a much-needed 'guarantee'.

Following the second emergency rescue in the euro zone this year, the French minister said: 'The first message is that concerning the budget, Ireland agrees to the necessary measures'.

The second 'very strong' message was that the aid programme by the EU and International Monetary Fund should lead to 'the setting up of a recapitalisation fund to ensure the liquidity and solvency of the Irish banking sector.'

The exact amount of European aid to the Irish banks 'remains to be determined, it has not yet been finalised,' said Lagarde, explaining that the EU executive Commision, the European Central Bank and the IMF still had to negotiate with the Irish Government the amount, the calendar and the conditions.

France, she said, remained 'completely supportive of Ireland' with President Nicolas Sarkozy having thrown his backing behind the 'unprecedented budgetary efforts.'