Saturday 19 August 2017

Government has met all targets set out by EU/IMF/ECB - Noonan

Lyndsey Telford

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has said the Government has met all the targets set by the EU, IMF and European Central Bank exactly one year after the bailout.

He said while the Government is delighted to have been deemed on track, looking after citizens and job creation is the priority.

"The Government wants to make sure that the provision of quality public services is not subject to the every whim of the international money markets," said Mr Noonan.

Earlier, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said the Government is not interested in getting a gold star from the "Troika" when it delivers its assessment of the country's austerity measures a year after the bailout.

He added the goal was not to win favour with the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, but to see the country progress and the economy grow.

"It's not about getting gold stars," said Mr Gilmore.

"As far as we are concerned, it's another milestone on the way to recovery.

"For the first time in four years, the Irish economy is growing again."

Sinn Fein TD Mary Lou McDonald accused the Government of caring more about pleasing the so-called Troika overseeing the bailout than helping citizens.

Senior officials from the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF will give their verdict on Ireland's performance under the €67.5bn rescue programme later today.

Mr Gilmore urged Sinn Fein to put on a green jersey in support of Ireland.

"It would be helpful if on this occasion you were to pull on a green jersey and assist the Government," he said.

Ms McDonald said it was perverse to ask people to do so while the Government was imposing such austere cuts to education, health and social welfare.

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