Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (132)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

132. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Finance if he intends to contact Chancellor Merkel following her recent comments regarding Ireland's economic performance. [40917/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I interact on a continuous basis with all of my EU counterparts, in particular at the monthly Ecofin meetings, including with the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble. The most recent comments by Chancellor Merkel acknowledge the successful reforms taken by Ireland under the EU/IMF economic adjustment programme. These reforms have been taken to benefit the Irish economy and have put Ireland on a more sustainable path to growth. These necessary reforms have increased investor confidence and improved funding conditions for both the Irish sovereign and the banks.

The important agreements that Ireland has reached with European partners over the programme period shows how positively Ireland is viewed. These agreements include the lowering of the interest rate on our EU programme funding, an extension of maturities on lending from our European partners and the restructuring of the promissory note. These all help to underpin our longer term debt sustainability, lower financing costs to the State and support economic growth.

As Ireland's EU-IMF Programme of Financial Support comes to an end this year the Government’s focus is now firmly fixed on achieving a successful and durable exit from our programme, and a full and sustainable return to the financial markets, and we are doing all we can to this end.