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Emmet Oliver: Enda has to play his hand well in high-stakes poker

Emmet Oliver

Published 25/03/2011 | 05:00

At the EU summit in Brussels were, front row, left to right: Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias; Romania's President Traian Basescu; Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov; Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Back row left to right: Estonia's Prime Minister Andrus Ansip; British Prime Minister David
Cameron; Malta's Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi; and Slovakia's Prime Minister Iveta Radicova
At the EU summit in Brussels were, front row, left to right: Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias; Romania's President Traian Basescu; Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov; Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Back row left to right: Estonia's Prime Minister Andrus Ansip; British Prime Minister David Cameron; Malta's Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi; and Slovakia's Prime Minister Iveta Radicova

THE scale of Ireland's economic collapse and eventual rescue was summed up in one sum that circulated at yesterday's crucial EU summit in Brussels.

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Portugal, population 10.7 million, is likely to need a rescue package of €70bn at most, while Ireland, population of 4.5 million, needed €85bn.

The difference between the amount Portugal may yet need and what Ireland is due to pour into its battered economy can be explained by a range of technical factors. But chief among those is one simple fact: Ireland has a catastrophic and expensive banking crisis, whereas Portugal, broadly speaking, does not.

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