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Anglo Irish Close To Being Wound Down?

It is a big week for Ireland following news that the European Commission wants Anglo Irish, the nationalized lender, wound down and with conflicting reports regarding the bank's future emerging.

Dublin, Ireland
Tim Thompson | Stone | Getty Images
Dublin, Ireland

With the cost of its bailout rising, the bank's CEO was reported as saying that the Commission has a point.

"The European Commission is saying this bank has dropped 25 billion euros ($32.2 billion) and it doesn't deserve to survive," Mike Aynsley, the CEO of Anglo Irish, told the Sunday Business Post in Dublin.

Aynsely wants the bank kept open by splitting 80 percent of the bad loans into a "bad bank" and the remaining 20 percent brought into a "good bank."

"From an economic and financial point of view, we are better off to keep it as a stub," he told the paper.

The future of Anglo Irish is likely to be decided this week, when Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan meets with EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia and ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet.

The Irish government has until now been opposed to closing Anglo Irish down, but a minister said over the weekend that the bank could be decommissioned in a signal that the government in Dublin could be resigned to doing so.

The final decision on whether the bank survives falls on European Commission monetary affairs commissioner Jacquin Almunia.

The Irish Independent wrote that Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan would ask the European Commission to allow winding down Anglo Irish over a 10-year period.

However, on Monday a spokesman for the Irish Ministry told Reuters that keeping part of the bank open was still an option.

"The (European) Commission are due to come back with a decision probably at the end of this month," a spokesman for the ministry said. "It will only be at that stage that we'll know which of the options has been chosen."

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