Ireland May Take 'Very Substantial' Loan, Top Official Says

Ireland will probably take a "very substantial" loan worth tens of billions of euros, the country's central bank governor said.

EU and IMF officials arrived in Dublin today for negotiations.

"I think this is the way forward. Market conditions have not allowed us to go ahead without seeking the support of our international collaborators," Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan said, according to The Irish Times.

The loan will likely carry an interest rate of about 5%, Honohan said.

Ireland is looking to Europe and the International Monetary Fund to help it cope with losses in the country's banking sector, which is weighed down with past-due real estate loans.

As the cost of supporting the banks has risen, many have worried that it will push the state into default.

The government has previously insisted it would not seek a bailout package. Today, that message seemed to have changed.

Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan said the government "may need help" from Europe.

"I don't have a problem with that, and I don't have a problem recognizing the scale of the problem," Ryan said. "What we need to do is get the terms and conditions right."

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