REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE Troika will deliver their latest report on the progress of Ireland’s bailout programme later today.
Officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will report their findings amid growing speculation that Ireland will require a second bailout.
The Troika officials have spent the past ten days in Ireland examining the progress of the programme over its first full year of implementation and will deliver their report today as well hold a press conference.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin will give their own press briefing at midday at Government buildings.
It is the fifth such review of the bailout programme. All previous reviews have been largely positive with Ireland meeting its targets. However, the latest review will have taken place in the context of negative economic growth figures for the last quarter.
The latest review has focussed on the potential sale of State assets as well as the cost savings achieved by the Croke Park Agreement on public sector pay and reform. Troika officials have also met with opposition parties and the Dáil technical group of independent TDs.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 this morning, the economist who conducted a review into the sale of State assets sounded a note of caution as to the ability of Ireland to avoid a second bailout – talk which Finance Minister Noonan has described as “ludicrous”.
Colm McCarthy told the Today programme: ”Even if all the boxes are ticked and there’s another favourable review this afternoon, which I think there probably will be, it doesn’t follow that everything will work out just fine. The bond markets are in disarray as everybody knows.”