Ireland to Seek EU-Led Bailout as Lenihan Works to Avert Bank `Collapse'
By Joe Brennan and Stephanie Bodoni - Nov 21, 2010 10:54 AM ET
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said Ireland will apply for a bailout as it sets itself up to be the second euro member to seek a rescue from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
“I will be proposing to my colleagues that they should formally apply for a program,” Lenihan said in an interview with state broadcaster RTE in Dublin. “The banks were too big a problem for the country. The key issue all the time for the government is to ensure that we do not have a collapse of the banking sector.”
Prime Minister Brian Cowen chairs a cabinet meeting today, and Lenihan wouldn’t say how much Ireland needs, only that it will “certainly not” amount to 100 billion euros ($137 billion). European finance ministers will meet via teleconference starting at 5 p.m. Dublin time to discuss the procedures to be followed once the formal aid request is made, said an EU official with direct knowledge of the talks.