01 OCT 2010
By Honor Mahony
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - European Union attention swung to Ireland on Thursday (30 September) as the government revealed the full extent of the country's banking crisis, likely to result in a budget deficit of 32 percent of GDP this year.
The total cost of the bailouts for Irish banks could run to €50 billion, with the lion's share of this going to the massively indebted Anglo Irish Bank, potentially needing as much as €34.3 billion and certainly no less than €29.3 billion.
"Anglo Irish developed to a size where its balance sheet, its annual turnover, was half the national wealth and it became in itself a systemic threat to the financial viability of the state," finance minister Brian Lenihan said on Thursday.
"That particular nightmare the government has had to live with, the Irish people have had to live with, and I have had to live with since September 2008. We're now bringing closure to that."
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