Eurozone finance ministers have agreed in principle to use the EU's main bailout mechanism to help member states cope with the coronavirus crisis.

Following a video conference of all 19 Eurozone members, Eurogroup President Mario Centeno said there was "broad support" for the European Stability Mechanism to provide emergency credit lines to all member states, up to 2 of their GDP.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance said: We are in unprecedented times so unprecedented measures are called for.  

"Ireland agrees with the ESM [Enhanced Conditions Credit Lines] as first response. 

"We are open to discussions on other measures to assist with dealing with this crisis."

Mr Centeno will write to EU leaders later tonight recommending formal adoption of the use of the ESM in helping countries tackle the crisis.

EU leaders will hold a video conference on Thursday in place of a scheduled two day summit.

The European Central Bank had already extended its buying of national bonds this year by €750 billion to €1.1 trillion.