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Irish economy bailed out by EU and IMF

Government accused of surrendering national sovereighty as Ireland receives €85 billion rescue package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Government accused of surrendering national sovereighty as Ireland receives €85 billion rescue package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The Irish economy is suffering the consequence of the collapse of its banking system as a result of the country's real estate bubble bursting.

The economic bail out, announced on 21 November 2010, followed days of speculation where the Irish Government insisted it did not need help to cope with the state of its finances.

But the EU pushed the Irish Government into accepting the loan in order to stop its financial crisis from spreading to other countries in the Union.

The Irish Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, said the economy had a deficit of almost €20 billion which it could not afford to finance at current market rates.

Mr Lenihan described the loan as a "standby fund" and said not all of it would be used to keep the country running.

The €85 billion loan, two thirds funded by the EU and one third by the IMF, was given under conditions to cut Ireland's public expenditure and increase taxation.

The loan was narrowly approved in the Irish Parliament on 15 December as opposition parties accused the Government of surrendering Ireland's sovereignty to the EU and the IMF.

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