ECB 'has provided Ireland with unprecedented support'

6 May 2011

Ireland has received a huge amount of support from the European Central Bank (ECB) throughout the duration of its fiscal crisis, the institution's president has insisted.

Recently, the former Irish finance minister Brian Lenihan stated that the continent's major financial body had forced the country's government into accepting a bailout package when its economy hit rock bottom, which was tantamount to "betraying" Ireland in its hour of need.

However, Jean Claude Trichet has dismissed these claims and insisted "the facts are speaking for themselves ... we are siding with Ireland in these difficult circumstances".

The ECB has provided the nation with assistance of approximately €180 billion ($261 billion) in order to prop up its banking sector and Mr Trichet added this level of commitment to helping a member state "has absolutely no precedent".

This follows on from a report by Reuters indicating that another eurozone country in financial peril - Portugal - will be in a period of negative growth for the next two years.

By Tony Aynsley

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