Ireland to unveil emergency budget

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Ireland is preparing to unveil an emergency budget in the first week of April. The Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said the country, which is under pressure to salvage its goal of a fiscal deficit of 9.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, had to show the world that there was a "path out of our financial difficulties".

"The idea that we can borrow endlessly to stimulate growth is not correct," Mr Lenihan said. The news coincided with data showing that the country's unemployment rate had climbed up to 10.4 per cent in February, compared with 9.6 per cent in January.