€90bn Irish bailout ends in turmoil – now Europe fears crisis will spread

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
By Paul Martin

Jill Treanor, Nicholas Watt and Henry McDonald
Guardian.co.uk
Monday 22 November 2010

Financial markets were thrown into turmoil today amid fears that an imminent collapse of Ireland’s beleaguered government would have a knock-on effect across the eurozone.

The announcement of the potential €90bn international bailout for debt-laden Ireland – of which the UK could contribute up to £10bn – offered only a temporary respite to nervous markets.

By tonight, concerns that Portugal and even Spain might also need their own rescue packages were rising and sent the euro and shares falling while the risk of holding the debt of potentially vulnerable countries rose alarmingly.

After a tumultuous day in Dublin, where protesters tried to storm the parliament building, the prime minister, Brian Cowen, defied calls for his resignation but conceded he would call an election in the new year. The move was forced upon him after the Green party pulled out of his fragile coalition government, unnerving markets on a day which was supposed to restore confidence in Europe’s decade-old single currency.

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