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Page last updated at 08:19 GMT, Thursday, 30 September 2010 09:19 UK

Lenihan: Ireland 'can't print money'


Will Ireland, and not just the Irish economy, be brought to its knees by its banks?

As the Irish government announces new estimates for how much it will cost to recapitalise some of its big financial institutions, Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has warned that the future of the country would be threatened if one of its big banks were to fail.

Explaining his concerns on the programme, Mr Lenihan said government actions had prevented the "huge damage" which the failure of Anglo Irish Bank, which had grown to half the size of Ireland's annual national wealth, would have caused.

He accepted that there was understandable resentment among taxpayers over the banking bail-out, but there were limits to the amount the country could borrow and so a workable plan for deficit reduction was now critically important.

"We believe we will demonstrate a credible pathway out of our difficulties," he added.

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