IMF, EU teams arrive in Dublin
IMF, EU teams arrive in Dublin

Representatives of the International Monetary Fund have arrived in Dublin to begin work on a financial aid package for the insolvent 26 County state.

The IMF delegation, is led by Ajai Chopra, the Deputy Director of the IMF’s European Department. The IMF is being joined by representatives of the European Central Bank and the European commission.

Also involved in the process are officials from the 26-County Department of Finance, the Financial regulator, the Central Bank and the Treasury.

Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan has said he expected the Dublin government will have to accept a “very substantial” loan from the EU/IMF.

Speaking this morning, he said “It’s my expectation that that is what is definitely likely to happen.” “Market conditions have not allowed us to go ahead without seeking the support of our international collaborators.”

Despite repeated denials earlier this week, the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said today the coalition government could accept an aid package.

Speaking during a debate in the Dublin parliament on the negotiations this morning, Mr Lenihan said the establishment of a contingency fund for the banks would be a “very desirable outcome” but insisted no final decisions had been made.

Mr Lenihan also denied claims the government had been keeping the electorate in the dark over the extent of the negotiations.

Separately, Taoiseach Brian Cowen rejected suggestions the 26-County state was surrendering its sovereignty. “There is no question of loss of sovereignty for Ireland,” he said.

However, it is understood the IMF and EU negotiators are currently drafting an austerity regime to be implemented by the 26-County state as a condition of making the funds available to the State.

The bailout could amount to “tens of billions of euro”, according to Mr Honohan, contradicting claims by the Taoiseach in the Dail yesterday evening that no such measures were planned.

Deputy Morgan said the government had been dishonest and was leading the people up the garden path.

“Patrick Honohan should be thanked for bringing clarity to the situation this morning following the nonsense from Brian Cowen in the Dail yesterday. It is clear now that what the government is looking at is a bailout that will further indebt us.

“This government has been deeply dishonest with the people and is once again leading us up the garden path.

“It is time for them and their disastrous policies to leave the stage.”

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