Economist Colm McCarthy has starkly warned that the International Monetary Fund will be running Ireland by February if the Budget “fails to convince the financial markets”.
In what he calls a “scary scenario”, outlined in the Sunday Independent yesterday, Mr McCarthy says “the game is up” if the Government flunks the Budget on December 7.
The sense of impending doom is also evident in the latest Sunday Independent/Quantum Research poll, which found that a massive 64 per cent believe it to be “inevitable” that Ireland will need the help of the IMF in the new year.
Mr McCarthy has said that if the Budget does “too little” to convince the financial markets, the Government will be unable to finance itself — “which means an IMF/European bail-out and economic policy dictated from outside the country for the first time since the State was founded”.
He warns that the country’s cash reserves will run low by next spring, unless Ireland re-enters the bond market with a “pretty big issue” of up to Ã¢â€šÂ¬5bn.
“Realistically, the Government needs to do this in January or February at the latest,” he says.
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