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November 16, 2010    

Officials work to resolve Ireland‘s banking crisis

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by Kay Murchie

There were fresh fears for the euro today after it emerged that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could be called in to assist the euro zone in resolving the banking crisis in Ireland.

Ireland’s Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, has again, however, reiterated that his country has not asked for emergency funds and said the economy is fully funded until at least the middle of next year.

However, it has been confirmed that the Irish Government, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF are holding talks about the country’s “serious banking problems”.

Today, EU Council president, Herman Van Rompuy, warned that the European Union was in a “survival crisis” over euro zone debt problems, after speculation mounted that Portugal may be forced to seek to an emergency rescue.

However, he said he was “very confident” the problems could be overcome.

Over the last few weeks, Irish, Portuguese and Spanish Government borrowing has surged to record levels.

In particular, bond yields for Ireland, Portugal and Greece all remain high, which suggests a lack of investor confidence.

While this is not an immediate problem for Ireland, it is for Spain, which earlier held an auction of Government bonds.

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