Euro zone finance ministers have backed a request from Ireland for an international bailout, ending weeks of speculation that the country would need aid to prop up its banks and help it secure cheaper state funding.

The bailout — which would be the second rescue package for a euro zone country this year — would be less than 100 billion euros, he said, but did not give details of the likely cost.

As well as a bank plan, the government will unveil details next week of a four-year austerity plan to save 15 billion euros.

The main concern for EU policymakers is Ireland’s problems spreading to other euro zone members with large budget deficits like Spain and Portugal, threatening a systemic crisis.

IMF is there

International Monetary Fund staff have been in Dublin to help Ireland with its banks, whose huge liabilities have sent Irish borrowing costs soaring. Banks, brought to the brink of collapse by exposure to a property and construction sector that slumped after the global financial crisis, have suffered an exodus of deposits over the past six months.