European and International Monetary Fund officials will meet in Dublin tomorrow to discuss the possibility of aid for Ireland's ailing banking sector.

"If banking problems are too big for this small country to manage, Europe has made it clear they'll help," Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said, according to Bloomberg News.

The government has said it will not ask Europe for a government bailout package.

A package to aid the banks could be ready within days, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said.

Irish banks such as Anglo-Irish Bank and Allied Irish Banks (AIB) are weighed down with past-due loans related to the country's real estate bubble. The cost of supporting them has steadily risen, leading to speculation that they will drive the country into default.



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