Ireland may be close to EU bailout deal

An Irish flag being waved in the air

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: The international economic action today was in Dublin, Ireland. Officials from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are still trying to patch up the Irish financial crisis. Including, it looks like, a multi-billion dollar bailout package.

From the European Desk in London, Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: For days, Ireland's government was dead set against any outside help. But this morning, speaking on Irish radio, the head of the country's Central Bank -- Patrick Honohan -- admitted that a loan was in the offing. And it was a big one.

Patrick Honohan: The purpose of the amount to be made available to be borrowed is to show that Ireland has sufficient firepower to deal with any concerns of the market.

A loan worth tens of billions of Euros. But the rescue package comes with conditions. They're likely to include further public spending cuts.

The deal taking shape is a national humiliation, says Irish Opposition politician Joe Higgins. He accused the government of:

Joe Higgins: Handing over the fate of the Irish people to faceless and unelected and unaccountable operators in the financial markets of the world.

The rescue talks helped take some of the pressure off the Euro. But Bronwen Maddox, editor of Prospect magazine, reckons not for long.

Bronwen Maddox: I think it's going to unravel. How long that takes will depend on how long countries want to keep propping up the weaker ones.

That may not be a great deal longer. Germany, which foots much of the bill, is far from happy. The Germans were furious over bailing out the Greeks. Their mood has not been improved by the thought of bailing out Ireland.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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