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Gilmore insists: Bailout exit without credit line was not for political reasons

The Tánaiste was speaking in London earlier today.

Eamon Gilmore speaking to Sky News this morning
Eamon Gilmore speaking to Sky News this morning
Image: Screengrab via Sky News

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has insisted that the decision to exit the bailout programme next month without a precautionary line of credit was not done for political reasons.

Speaking on Sky News this morning, Gilmore addressed concerns that have been raised in the last 24 hours that Ireland decided to make a clean break from the EU/IMF programme for political purposes.

Yesterday, Fianna Fáil claimed that the decision meant “it appears that political considerations have superseded Ireland’s economic interests”.

But Gilmore said: “No, it’s not for political reasons. Normally a precautionary credit line lasts for a year. We’re funded for much longer than a year.

“So if we had taken a precautionary credit line we would have to make this decision next year in any event. We felt that, on balance, now is the right time to do this.”

The Tánaiste pointed to falling bond yields, economic growth and the stability of the euro as reasons for leaving the programme without a backstop next month, and said the government is happy it has the support of the IMF, EU and ECB.

Separately, Fianna Fáil today called for the government to release documents supporting its decision to not adopt a precautionary credit line to the Dáil and Oireachtas Finance Committee.

The party’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said he would write to Finance Minister Michael Noonan seeking publication of the documentation supporting the rationale for the decision.

“If the government has based its decision on political expediency and not on sound financial and economic advice this is cause for huge concern,” he said.

Read: Officials to work out Kenny-Merkel deal on loans for ‘real Irish economy’

Read: “We fully support Ireland’s decision” – EU finance ministers

Analysis: 5 reasons why the government decided to exit the bailout and go it alone

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Hugh O'Connell

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