EU approves a $113 billion Irish bailout

A protester waves an Irish flag outside the Irish Prime Ministers office in Dublin, Ireland, on November 21, 2010.


STEVE CHIOTAKIS: European Union officials have approved a $113 billion Irish bailout. The EU's hoping to prop up Ireland's economy and stabilize the Euro with the infusion of money. Already, the markets are looking at the news with mixed feelings. But some in Ireland aren't happy, though it's not necessarily the bailout that's making them angry.

Christopher Werth is with us from London with the story this morning. Good morning Christopher.


CHIOTAKIS: How are people feeling in Ireland right now?

WERTH: Not so good. This was the sound in Dublin over the weekend.

Sound of protests.

At the same time that European leaders and officials from the International Monetary Fund were hammering out the details of Ireland's bailout, people took to the streets to show their displeasure.

CHIOTAKIS: People unhappy about the bailout?

WERTH: Well, unhappy about the bailout, partly. But there's more to it than that. This morning I spoke with Brian Lucey. He's a professor of finance at Trinity College Dublin.

BRIAN LUCEY: Obviously people are opposed to pain. But it's why are people opposed? You know, they don't want to shoulder the burden for private investors.

People are less worried about the global markets and more worried about the tax hikes and benefit cuts the Irish government is imposing. Lucey says people in Ireland feel they're unfairly paying for the mistakes of wealthy individuals who invested in Ireland's banks during the boom years. When the crisis began in 2008, the Irish government guaranteed those investors against any losses. That's why Ireland needs the bailout it's getting today. And Lucey says now that decision is bringing the country to its knees, and that's what people are angry about.

CHIOTAKIS: Alright, Christopher Werth from London. Thanks Chris.

WERTH: Thanks Steve.


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