15 idle cranes as well as hundreds of empty homes to be auctioned off

The cost of Ireland’s bank bailout had reached 50 billion Euros ($68 billion) it emerged yesterday. The Irish Finance minister told RTÉ radio at lunchtime that we have to deal with the current realities "We have to be responsible here. It's not about speculating on a figure...it's about recognizing that there is a serious challenge ahead of us," he said.

He later told Bloombery media that "The Irish banking system is at rock bottom today".

Ireland’s 2010 deficit is expected to surge to 32 % of gross domestic product. Ireland now leads the develop world with the size of its deficit due to the government funding of banks.

National 2009 deficits of the 27 EU nations and the United States as a percentage of national GDP:

(all show percentage)

IRELAND 14.3
GREECE 13.6
UNITED KINGDOM 11.5
SPAIN 11.2
UNITED STATES 9.9
PORTUGAL 9.4
LATVIA 9.0
LITHUANIA 8.9
ROMANIA 8.3
FRANCE 7.5
POLAND 7.1
SLOVAKIA 6.8
CYPRUS 6.1
BELGIUM 6.0
CZECH REPUBLIC 5.9
SLOVENIA 5.5
ITALY 5.3
NETHERLANDS 5.3
HUNGARY 4.0
BULGARIA 3.9
MALTA 3.8
AUSTRIA 3.4
GERMANY 3.3
DENMARK 2.7
FINLAND 2.2
ESTONIA 1.7
LUXEMBOURG 0.7
SWEDEN 0.5
(Sources: EU statistical agency Eurostat, U.S. Congressional Budget Office)