Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said the idea that the Government could wind up the affairs of Anglo Irish Bank without facing costs of €70 billion or more would not be in the taxpayers' interest.

Speaking in Co Offaly, Mr Cowen said the Government is anxious to bring the issue to finality as soon as discussions with the European Union have been completed.

He said discussions with the European Commission are at an advanced stage. He added that the Government had sent its final documentation to the Commission on the matter.

The Taoiseach said the issue that was determining the Government's policy on the Anglo Irish issue is how does it minimise exposure for the tax payer - which is already considerable.

Meanwhile, Professor John FitzGerald of the Economic and Social Research Institute has said Anglo Irish Bank has no future. He said that decisions must be taken soon on the cheapest way of dealing with it.