Banks are really what this is about; it's the reason for the Irish bailout and bilateral assistance from the UK (and non Eurozone countries Sweden and Denmark, who have also chipped in). The banks cannot be allowed to fail, if they do a catastrophe of Biblical proportions will be unleashed. But in doing this, the citizens are to suffer; society can crumble, but the banks must be steadfast. “The purpose of the external financial support is to return our economy to sustainable growth and to ensure that we have a properly functioning healthy banking system”, an Irish government statement read. They made the choice; of the total bailout fund, €35 billion will go towards bank recapitalisation.
The Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, is confident that his government made the right choice; after all, by raiding the pension reserve fund and other domestic revenues, the bailout amounts to a mere €67.5 billion. Ireland, he assures us, is not so much under the EU-IMF yolk after all, and even Greece is envious of Ireland's 7-year payback terms at 5.8%. He now faces the people in a new year election.