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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 30 July, 2014

Troika Translator: What they said and what they meant

We got used to their visits, but what did they really think of us?

NOW THAT WE’VE left the bailout, the Troika of the IMF, ECB and EU Commission won’t be coming on their quarterly trips to check that we’re implementing their programme properly.*

While they were here though, we got used to the gentle encouragement they dished out on how well we were doing and their friendly pointers on what we needed to do better.

So, with the help of our Troika Translator, TheJournal.ie has had a look back at what they said over the past few years.

image

Everyone’s favourite Troika representative Ajai Chopra. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland.

Troika (Ajai Chopra and Lorenzo Giorgianni)

With growth weak and unemployment high, public concerns about austerity will shape the outcome of the 31 May referendum on the European Fiscal Stability Treaty. If the referendum supports Treaty ratification, resuming Treasury bill issuance in the second half of 2012 is expected to be feasible.

Translation

Ireland is still on very shaky economic ground and we know you’ll be thinking that when you vote in the fiscal treaty referendum. But just so you know, voting Yes is pretty much a requirement to start a a limited return to the markets.

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Pic: AP Photo/Andreas Pechar

Troika (Sixth Review Statement)

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.

Translation

Listen, we know we’re not keeping up our end of the bargain with the eurozone economy still being in a bit of mess. Also, we’re very aware that all of you are saving your money and the money that you are saving is being kept by the banks because they got caught out in the past and don’t want to lend.

Troika (ECB’s Klaus Masuch)


(Youtube/MrMonty0)

I’m impressed by the depth of discussion in Ireland and the understanding of complex financial issues which is revealed by looking into the Irish press, looking into the discussion. But also when I come from the airport the taxi driver is also very very informed I must say.

Translation

All you guys go on about is the financial crisis and you seem to know your stuff, you must be all sick to the teeth of the media going on about it as well. Also, your taxi drivers never stop talking.

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Pic: Photocall Ireland

Troika (IMF’s Craig Beaumont)

We have flagged before the issue where we would identify that progress hasn’t been quite as fast as we would like in the area of dealing with mortgage arrears and dealing with non-performing loans more broadly. This is not owing to lack of effort. There was a large investment in time and effort in making the bankruptcy regime more workable, and that’s now up and running.

Translation

We know that the Government has passed a lot of legislation about personal insolvency but there is a still a mortgage arrears white elephant in the room and you really need to do something about it.

Troika (ECB’s Klaus Masuch)

Well, Vincent (Browne), I have answered a very similar question of you I think it was two reviews ago, I addressed the question and I answered it.

Translation

You again!

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Pic: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland

Troika (Twelfth and Final Review Statement)

Budget outturns remained on track through October, yet spending control must be maintained, in particular in the health care sector….realizing the proposed savings in health expenditure, while protecting core services, will require particular attention. Broadening the revenue base, reforming the health sector.

Translation

You’ve done well guys and are keeping a nice tight budget. Watch out for health spending though. No, SERIOUSLY watch out for health spending.

*Don’t worry, they haven’t completely gone yet, all three will be back twice next year to “keep a close watch” on post-bailout developments.

Read: ‘This is the right decision for Ireland’: Taoiseach confirms bailout exit without credit line >

Read: The reviews are over but we may not leave for “a number of years” — IMF Mission Chief >

Read: IMF approves €1.4bn loan – but has doubts about Ireland’s return to markets >

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