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Ireland may need to borrow 'north of 20 billion' euros in 2021 - Varadkar

·1-min read
European leaders summit in Brussels
European leaders summit in Brussels

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland may need to borrow "north of 20 billion" euros ($23.5 billion) next year as it grapples with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was quoted as saying on Thursday.

"Does it require substantial borrowing from the government? Yes it does. 20 billion this year. Probably north of 20 billion next year," Varadkar told online publication The Currency in an interview.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe last month forecast a 2021 budget deficit of 4.5% to 5.5%, equating to cash borrowing in the region of 15-19 billion euros, but said measures announced in the Oct. 13 budget could push that higher.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Jason Neely)