Irish Prime Minister Says Bailout Will End in December
It’s November 2010, and the Republic of Ireland is seeking help as its economy plummets in a crash that leaves even the banks without enough money. Ireland appeals to the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is issued with a ‘bailout’.
Fast-forward three years and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny is promising his people that after December 15, they will no longer be indebted to the EU. Kenny, who is Ireland’s equivalent to Prime Minister, feels that it won’t be long before his country will be able to get back its “economic sovereignty and independence.”
At the annual conference in Limerick on Saturday night, Kenny told his Fine Gael party that although there is still work to be done, “at last the era of the bailout will be no more. The economic emergency will be over.”
Kenny explained that Ireland is now creating jobs instead of losing them that in fact: job creation is at its highest level in five years. “After some disastrous years, confidence is gradually being restored,” he added. “Despite a tough environment, our economy has started to grow.”
A national budget that is due to be released on Tuesday threatens more spending cuts and tax rises, but Kenny says it is a necessary measure to help Ireland reach all of its targets and encourage job investment. Mr Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan also stressed the importance of encouraging the small businesses section of the economy.
After the budget has been released, Mr Noonan plans to have talks with the eurozone about Ireland leaving the bailout programme. He explained that what IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank have to say on the matter will be taken into account and then he will “advise the Government on the best course of action.”
However, Mr Noonan thinks it is entirely possible that Ireland won’t need the eurozone’s help to end the bailout because there are already safety nets in place to prevent such an economic crisis from happening again.
Cypress, Greece and Portugal have all also been bailed out, but Ireland will be the first country to exit the bailout programme themselves if they are successful come December.
“We are on track to exit the bailout by the end of the year,” said Mr Kenny. “It’s just the start, but it is the progress we’ve been waiting for.”