Ireland formally accepted the need for a bailout, requesting help from the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Sunday, according to Reuters. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said, “The European authorities have agreed to our request. I expect that agreement to be finalized shortly, within the next few weeks.” The request was made under the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
While the size of the package is not yet decided, it is expected to be between 80-90 billion euros, a smaller amount than the 110-billion-euro package Greece received in April. Britain will contribute about 7 billion pounds, even though it is not part of the euro zone.
Olli Rehn, economic and monetary affairs commissioner, said that EU, European Central Bank (ECB)and IMF experts would develop a three-year package of loans by the end of November. “Providing assistance to Ireland is warranted to safeguard the financial stability in Europe,” he said. “The program under preparation will address both the fiscal challenges of the Irish economy and the potential future capital needs of the banking sector in a decisive manner.”