Final Irish Bank Bail-Out Bill Rises to Pounds 60bn - Half Value of Economy; 'ONE OF THE MOST COSTLY FINANCIAL CRISES IN HISTORY'
Byline: BRIAN HUTTON
THE final bill for bailing out Ireland's banks will be [ETH]70bn (pounds 61bn) after stress tests detailed that four institutions need another [ETH]24bn (pounds 21bn) to avoid a catastrophic crash of the entire system, it emerged last night.
Ireland will have just two main banks left after the [ETH]70bn calamity branded one of the costliest financial crises in history.
The promised final bill for the banking clean up - [ETH]70bn - is half the value of the entire Irish economy.
The country's chief banker, Patrick Honohan, revealed another [ETH]24bn is needed to keep lenders afloat.
The massive cash injection is designed to win back confidence from international money markets who have been nervous about funding Irish financial institutions. But sceptics pointed out this is the fifth time Irish people have been told over the past couple of years it would be the last payout they would have to endure.
With the lion's share of the latest multi-billion euro bailout coming from taxpayers, most of Ireland's banking system will effectively be brought under state control. The new coalition Government said it will vastly shrink the banking system from six home-grown lenders to two main "pillar" banks.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan vowed there would be "no half measures" in the master plan to finally draw a line under Ireland's banking disaster.
In an attack on the state banking guarantee scheme, which tied the debts of six Irish lenders to the taxpayer two-and-a-half years ago, Mr Noonan said the date of its introduction would remain forever notorious.
"Tuesday the 30th September, 2008, will go down in history as the blackest day in Ireland since the civil war broke out."
He added: "The banks were too big for the economy."
In a wave of tightly choreographed statements, Central Bank governor Mr Honohan disclosed the amounts needed to safely buffer four banks against further shocks, after longawaited stress tests. …