EU Will Support Ireland 'If Needed'

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said the EU would support Ireland "if needed" as concerns grow about the country's public finances.

Yields on Irish bonds have hit record highs, a sign investors are worried about the country's ability to meet all its debt obligations, BBC News said.

"In case of need, the EU is ready to support Ireland," Barroso said.

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The Irish government has imposed biting cuts in the budget as it seeks to cut the eurozone's biggest deficit. On Dec. 7, the government is due to announce a further 15 billion euros ($21 billion) of cuts.

"We are monitoring the situation closely, but we support the efforts of the Irish authorities [to reduce the budget deficit]," Barroso said.

The Irish economy plunged into recession after years of boom, as the real estate bubble burst and the government spent billions to bail out banks including Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and Anglo-Irish Bank.