Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

The Troika have come and gone (again) and they're happy(ish) but won't talk about water

They’re out of town now until next spring.

Image: tico_24/Flickr

5.48 pm

THE TROIKA HAVE left and they won’t be back until next spring, but before they left they gave their view on how Ireland is doing.

In summation, a lot done more to do.

The European Commission’s statement following its second post-bailout review of Ireland’s finances notes that “significant progress” has been made but that “important challenges remain”.

The review positively noted Ireland’s GDP growth but warned that debt-to-GDP ratio remained “still very high”.

“More ambitious deficit targets for 2015 and 2016 would help to bring the still very high government debt-to-GDP ratio firmly on a downward path,” the statement read.

The official Troika statement made no reference whatsoever to water charges but Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said earlier that the Troika’s overall assessment of the water charges regime was “positive”.

However and it’s been flagged that they are not happy about the new flat fee arrangements. 

The concerns are that the Irish Government agreed to bring down debt and reduce the deficit, and that the changes to water charges could impact on that.

Water charges 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning, Flanagan said he believed the overall assessment of the new water charges would be positive, however, he would not reveal if the Government had a ‘Plan B’, if Europe do not approve of the new charges. 

He said he was satisfied with changes, stating that they were “affordable” and that the people now have “clarity” on the issue.

He said he “expected” and “hoped” that the European Commission would give the water charges the thumbs up, but said that if they do not the Irish Government would “engage with them to ensure that they will”. 

“If they have issues, we have no difficulty in sitting down and talking through it .”

Flanagan said that if they bring up issues with the new water charges, the Government would engage with them “in the successful manner” in which they have in the past.

- Additional reporting by Rónán Duffy

Videos: Enda Kenny got a fierce noisy reception from protesters in Cork today>

Read: How this seemingly innocuous tweet caused a big row and forced a Labour MP to resign>

Read next: