updated 11/12/2010 12:43:33 PM ET 2010-11-12T17:43:33

Following is a timeline of Ireland's economic troubles over the past two years as sources say the country is in talks to receive emergency funding from the EU.

May 7, 2008 - Brian Cowen is elected Irish prime minister as allies and opponents warn the former finance minister he faces tough task steering country through economic slowdown.

-- Cowen reassigns justice minister Brian Lenihan to post of finance minister.

September 25, 2008 - Ireland becomes first euro zone country to slide into recession in 2008, with economic activity at its weakest in 25 years after its property bubble burst.

September 30 - Ireland becomes one of the first countries to respond to collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, approving guarantee covering 400 billion euros ($532.2 billion) of liabilities at six Irish-owned banks. Package is later increased to 485 billion euros to cover foreign-owned banks with significant operations in Ireland.

December 21 - Ireland agrees to inject 5.5 billion euros ($7.7 billion) into its three main banks, taking Anglo Irish Bank under its control.

February 4, 2009 - Cowen says top executives hired to work at banks receiving state funds should face at least 25 percent cut on current remuneration levels and their salaries should be capped at that level.

March 30 - Standard & Poor's downgrades Ireland's credit rating from prized AAA ranking to AA+ and warns it could drop further. Fitch takes similar step on April 8.

April 8 - Lenihan outlines 10.6 billion euros in spending cuts for 2010-2011 and forecasts extra 3.25 billion euros from taxation in the period in second emergency budget in six months.

December 9 - Ireland's 2010 budget delivers savings of more than 4 billion euros, slashing public pay and welfare.

July 19, 2010 - Moody's cuts Ireland's credit rating by one notch to Aa2, warning the country faces slow climb out of recession as cost of rescue of its banking sector.

August 25 - Standard & Poor's cuts Ireland's long-term rating by one notch to 'AA-' and assigns the country a negative outlook, a move criticized by Irish debt management agency.

September 30 - Ireland discloses worst case price tag of over 50 billion euros ($68 billion) for bailing out its banks and announces it will have to make more budget savings.

October 6 - Fitch cuts Ireland's credit rating to A+ from AA-, citing the huge cost of cleaning up its banks. Fitch also puts its rating on negative outlook.

November 3 - The government bows to pressure from its junior party and High Court to hold a late November vote to fill parliamentary seat that could cut its majority to just two.

November 6 - Pat Carey, minister for community, says he does not know if government would publish its four-year fiscal plan before November 25 by-election, a day after Cowen says he is still aiming to meet an original deadline of mid-November.

November 8 - EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn, visiting Ireland, says he has not discussed any need for EU bailout, adding he believes market confidence would be restored once the country published its four-year plan to cut debt.

November 12 - Ireland is in talks to receive emergency funding from the EU, sources say. However the finance ministry denies it is in talks to tap emergency funding from the EU.

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