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Team of 30 Euro experts probe debt nightmare

TEAMS of officials from the International Monetary Fund, the EU Commission and the European Central Bank are examining the Government's plans to get us out of our financial black hole this weekend.

Some 30 or more officials from the various bodies will be scrutinising the plans.

Only around two of the IMF's team of 12 have so far been identified publicly. They were the head of the mission Ajai Chopra (pictured), the deputy director of the IMF's European department, and Ashoka Mody, another senior official who is a regular visitor to Ireland. Several banking experts are among the team.

The European Commission has about ten people in its delegation, which includes officials who have prior knowledge of the financial situation and banking sector here.

Meanwhile, the Government's negotiating team includes senior figures in the Department of Finance.

Talks between the Irish officials and representatives of the IMF, the EU and the European Central Bank resumed in Dublin earlier today.

The discussions are expected to continue for a number of days. They come ahead of the publication of the Government's four-year economic plan, which is due to be completed early next week.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said yesterday that talks between the Government and officials from the three bodies were going well.

He said that while the country would keep many of the economic gains it had made, the talks could mean Ireland would have to take a step back in order to progress again.

fdillon@herald.ie


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