Belfast Telegraph

Republic's government to borrow 20bn euro

The Dublin government borrowers will raise 20 billion euro from international markets this year to keep the country running, it has been confirmed.

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which secures loans on behalf of the state, said the amount needed to cover spending fell from last year and it is getting cheaper to borrow money.

John Corrigan, NTMA chief executive, said last year's difficulties were exceptional.

"The challenges which Ireland faced in the international bond markets coming into 2009 were exceptional in terms of the level of our funding requirement, investor sentiment, competition for available funds and market volatility," he said.

"However, the strong liquidity position that we built up in 2008 enabled us to time our entry into the markets carefully and to take advantage of more positive investor sentiment towards Ireland as the year progressed."

At the end of 2009, Ireland's national debt stood at 75.2 billion euro.

The NTMA will also help the bad-bank National Assets Management Agency operate and Mr Corrigan said it was on course to begin taking failing loans on to its books this Spring.

It is expected to take on 80 billion euro worth of loans by the end of September.