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Thursday 21 September 2017

Gilmore slaps down colleague over bailout remarks

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore slapped down one of his junior ministers who suggested Ireland's bailout could be extended by insisting the harsh programme of cuts and taxes will be completed on time.

Labour junior foreign affairs minister Joe Costello said the Government would ask the IMF if its position on the bailout had changed, since IMF chief Christine Lagarde last week said bailout countries may be given a "bit more time".

But Mr Costello, who was backed up by a number of Labour backbenchers, was firmly slapped down by Mr Gilmore, who said the quicker Ireland exits a bailout, the better.

"I actually think that what people want is, I think they want to see when and where is the end of this," Mr Gilmore told RTE's 'The Week In Politics'.

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"I don't think we should extend because I think what we need to do here is, we need to get this over with."

He also insisted there would be no second bailout, and Ireland will be back into the financial markets when the existing programme ends by 2015.

"There will be no second bailout," Mr Gilmore said.

"We're going to be out of the programme at the end of next year. We're on target to do that."

The troika are in Dublin this week for their eighth review of the bailout, with Health Minister James Reilly understood to be meeting representatives of the EU, ECB and IMF over the spending overruns in his department.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton is also expected to come in for sharp criticism as she battles to keep her spending under control, but she is not expected to meet with troika representatives directly.

Irish Independent

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