With its economy in tatters, the Republic of Ireland is expecting a massive bailout from the European Union. Patrick Honohan, the Irish Central Bank governor, said that the "very substantial loan" would be on the order of tens of billions of euros. The Irish government, which denies it asked for aid, must still decide whether or not to accept it amid fears for its autonomy if Brussels holds its purse-strings. Many of the nation’s banks have already become dependent on loans from the European Central Bank. "It's a matter of national sovereignty within a group that is clearly supportive, that has a joint common good which is our currency. I trust the Irish government to be extremely sensible,” said French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. Despite a huge budget deficit, the Irish government continues to insist that it would not need to borrow funds for public spending until next year.