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Ireland may seek EU aid for its banks

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Ireland may seek EU aid for its banks

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The European Central Bank’s Vice President Vitor Constancio has said EU aid would be available for Ireland’s banking sector or the state itself if required.

That follows a report suggested Dublin could seek money for its banks from an EU emergency fund.

“The Irish state is financed until part of next year, but it is also a problem of the banks that are at the centre of the problems in Ireland and considerations have to be pondered,” Constancio told a news conference in Vienna.

Reportedly Ireland’s Finance Minister Brian Lenihan may raise the issue this week in Brussels.

Lenihan has promised to pump up to 50 billion euros into Irelands’ banks.

Dublin has reiterated that it will not need a bailout from the European Union or the International Monetary Fund although EU sources have said talks on a possible bailout are under way and it is unlikely to hold out without assistance.

The Irish Independent newspaper said Dublin was considering asking for money for its banks, an option that could be less risky politically than asking for a bailout of the state.