The Republic of Ireland is in preliminary talks with EU officials for financial support, the BBC has learned.
It is now no longer a matter of whether but when the Irish government formally approaches the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) for a bailout, correspondents say.
The provisional estimate for EFSF loans is believed to lie between 60bn and 80bn euros ($82-110bn; Â£51-68bn).
Dublin says there are no talks on an application for emergency EU funding.
A spokesman for Ireland’s department of finance said the country was funded until the middle of 2011, the public-service RTE broadcaster reported.
RTE had earlier said talks had been held on how a bail-out might happen in a theoretical worst-case scenario.
The European Commission would not formally comment on the matter.
Eurozone officials told the Reuters news agency on Friday that discussions were under way, with one saying that it was “very likely” Ireland would receive financial assistance.
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said on Saturday that it had not been asked for aid.
To read more, visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11750676
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