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

Enda Kenny has told the Dáil that Ireland will not avail of a precautionary credit facility when it exits the bailout programme on 15 December.

The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste were all smiles in the Dáíl chamber this morning
The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste were all smiles in the Dáíl chamber this morning
Image: Screengrab via Oireachtas TV

Updated 21:43

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY told the Dáil today that the decision to exit the bailout programme without a precautionary credit line is the right one for Ireland.

In a statement to TDs this morning, Kenny has confirmed that a decision has been made to exit the EU/IMF programme without a backstop of credit from European authorities.

“This is the right decision for Ireland and now is the right time to take this decision,” the Taoiseach told deputies.

He was speaking following a Cabinet this morning where Finance Minister Michael Noonan recommended that Ireland exit its Troika programme without a backstop facility. Noonan will inform eurozone finance ministers of the government’s decision at a meeting in Brussels later today.

Kenny said that this is the latest “in a series of steps to return Ireland to normal economic, budgetary and funding conditions”.

“Like most other sovereign eurozone countries, from 2014 we will be in a position to fund ourselves normally on the markets,” he said.

Kenny said that in discussions with German chancellor Angela Merkel she “confirmed that this was a decision for Ireland to make”.

He added: “We will exit the bailout in a strong position. The government has been preparing to return to normal market funding in 2015 for three years.”

The Taoiseach cited strong economic data including 3,000 jobs a month being created, a continually falling Live Register and the cash reserves of the NTMA, which are more than €20 billion, meaning Ireland is funded to 2015.

“Our budget strategy is on track, and the Government deficit is now falling rapidly. Public debt will start to fall next year relative to the size of the economy,” he said, adding that confidence in Ireland has improved.

He warned that the country “still [has] a long way to travel” but said “we are now moving in the right direction.”

“It does not mean any windfall of cash. It won’t mean that our economic and financial challenges are over,” he said.

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Kenny said that when Ireland exits the bailout in December the government will publish a medium-term economic strategy that will set out a “new sustainable economic pathway back to prosperity for the country.

“It will be an economic plan based on enterprise, not speculation,” he said.

In unscripted remarks, Kenny added: “I thank the people for their diligence and their commitment… nobody should doubt the government’s commitment to finish the job that we started when we took up office.”

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmroe said that today “is just the latest step on that ongoing journey” of Ireland’s economic recovery.

Gilmore said that there would be “no celebration until our economic recovery of Ireland is complete”.

“But today’s decision, and our exit from the bailout would never have been achieved without the patience and the endurance of the Irish people who have suffered from the crisis and who have, deep down, understood that there is no easy route to recovery,” he said.

Responding for Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin said that the government has put “political strategy over what’s right for this country” and said there has not been “a single piece of paper presented to anybody” to back-up the government’s decision.

In his response, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams criticised the coalition for breaking pre-election promises and said: “The Troika may be leaving, but the Troika mindset remains.”

Independent TD Stephen Donnelly said he welcomed the bailout exit and the decision of the government not to avail of the credit facility.

His fellow independent Shane Ross criticised the way in which the government made the announcement and dismissed suggestions that this is a historic day.

“We are not restoring our sovereignty today… we are being treated to a political theatre by the government,” he said, adding there will be no change in government policy.

First published 12:07

In full: Taoiseach confirms Ireland will exit bailout without credit line

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Hugh O'Connell

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