After days and weeks of insisting that it wouldn’t need or ask for a bailout, it’s official: Ireland is asking for a bailout.
EU leaders pushed the country last weekend to take the formal step of asking the world for help, and now it’s going to .
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said Ireland will apply for an international 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 today. “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.”
While the government had enough cash on hand to ostensibly get through the middle of next year, it was last week that a run on the bank began, and that was obviously the straw.