International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn does not expect Ireland to activate the euro rescue fund, he told the German press on Friday.

However, Strauss-Kahn said that the IMF was ready to help, if needed. "We are partners in this process and are ready, if we are needed," he said in an interview.

On Thursday, the Irish Government disclosed that the cost of bailing out its distressed banks could reach over 50 billion euros and announced it would have to make drastic budget cuts.

Yet Strauss-Kahn said the situation in Ireland was very different to that in Greece.

"The economic downtrend in Ireland is continuing, but the Irish government has already taken a string of solid measures on the fiscal side," he added.