DUBLIN — Ireland’s bailout programme is meeting its targets, allowing the government to strengthen the focus on steering the eurozone nation out of recession, an official statement said on Thursday.
Officials from the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank — or Troika — have been in Ireland for the past 10 days making their sixth quarterly assessment of the the country’s bailout targets.
“We are pleased that we have met our targets, all measures have been implemented and the programme is on track,” Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said in a joint statement.
“This successful outcome illustrates, once more, the ability and the commitment of the Irish State to implement a challenging programme effectively.
“As well as examining programme implementation over the past quarter over the course of this mission we have begun to examine measures to strengthen the focus on growth,” they added. Ireland had to seek an 85-billion-euro ($112-billion) rescue package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2010, when massive debt and deficit problems left it on the verge of collapse.
In a joint statement the EU, ECB and IMF said Ireland’s implementation of its bailout programme continued to be “strong” with fiscal targets for 2011 met “with a healthy margin.”
“Economic growth is expected to remain modest in 2012, at around 0.5 percent. The benefits of continued competitiveness gains are limited by relatively low trading partner growth, while domestic demand continues to decline and the banking sector faces difficult market funding conditions.” — AFP