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Ireland pressured into bailout, letters show

London

NEWLY released documents suggest that Ireland was pressured into a controversial 67.5 billion euro (S$108.3 billion) bailout that left taxpayers rescuing crippled banks, reigniting a fierce debate about the international aid that Dublin accepted after the financial crash.

An exchange of letters, released by the European Central Bank (ECB) after one was published by The Irish Times, show how Ireland's government was left with little alternative but to apply for the bailout, which amounted to US$84.5 billion and led to sweeping cuts in public spending and years of austerity.

The documents, dating from 2010, also show the ECB's role in determining the scope of the aid programme. One indicates...

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