The Irish economy has been one of the most severely hit by the current crisis in Europe.
In 2008-2010, Irish GDP contracted by more than 12 per cent, unemployment increased from under 5 per cent to close to 15 per cent, and public debt went from some 25 per cent to around 110 per cent of GDP.
As a result, Ireland was faced with prohibitive conditions in the bond market last year, and had to resort to EU-IMF financial assistance.
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