Mary Harney, Ireland's health minister, warned on Friday that the country could face International Monetary Fund (IMF) intervention if it fails to implement the required cuts in December's budget.
Harney, a former deputy prime minister, said government expenditure had spiralled. "We're spending €500m ($747m) a week more than we're raising. That's an unsustainable situation," she said. Ireland's economy has been hit hard by the financial crisis and is expected to contract by 7% this year.