PM: Ireland to exit bailout

2013-01-26 12:55
Enda Kenny (Picture: AFP)

Enda Kenny (Picture: AFP)

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Strasbourg - Ireland has met all its obligations to EU and IMF creditors under its 2010 bailout and will exit the aid programme "before the end of this year", Prime Minister Enda Kenny said on Wednesday.

"We have honoured all, and I mean all, of our EU-IMF commitments through seven troika analyses," Kenny said in a keynote address to the European Parliament to mark Ireland's six-month stint in the EU policy chair.

This was a reference to bailout funding under the aegis of the International Monetary Fund, the EU and the European Central Bank.

"Last year, our economy started to grow again, our exports actually climbed to record levels," he said.

"We are bringing government spending under control, internationally investors are showing a new confidence in Ireland - and the result has been seen in lower yields on Irish government bonds.

"Market confidence, once ebbed, is now beginning to return," he said.

"We are determined to exit the EU-IMF programme before the end of this year," he stressed, referring to the programme of cuts, reforms and banking sector downsizing undertaken under EU and International Monetary Fund oversight in exchange for €85bn in aid.

"I believe 2013 be the year Ireland exits this programme and shows real leadership to Europe.

"But Europe too needs to steady itself after this crisis-driven period and return to stability."

He said that was why the Irish six-month presidency would be "all about stability, a return to growth and jobs" across the eurozone, of which it is a member, and the wider EU.

Ireland currently has an unemployment rate of 14.6%, which is doubled among under-25s, and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 120%, double the EU limit of 60%.

Read more on:    imf  |  eu  |  enda kenny  |  ireland  |  economy

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