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Ireland Opens New Front as ECB Battles to Avert Meltdown

Ireland opened a new front in the drive to restructure debt on the euro area’s periphery, adding to the European Central Bank’s concerns as it tries to head off another wave of financial turmoil.

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said yesterday that senior bondholders should share in the losses of Anglo Irish Bank Corp. and Irish Nationwide Building Society, reversing a policy of protecting owners of senior securities. The ECB is against imposing losses on investors. President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Feb. 7 that haircuts aren’t part of a plan to reduce Ireland’s debt load.