Sunday 18 February 2018

'A lot done, but more to do'

ISTVAN Szekely doesn't have anything like the recognition among the public that his counterpart from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Ajai Chopra has, but in his role as head of the European Commission's mission to Ireland, he leads one of the three bodies that, with the IMF and ECB, make up the now notorious troika monitoring our finances.

As such, it was very interesting and quite enlightening to hear him address an IBEC conference in Dublin.

He was broadly positive on the Irish economic situation, but we could probably have expected that.

Our success in getting back into the international markets in a limited way and the regaining of our competitiveness as a country was good to hear -- but the real meat came in the work that still needed to be done.

His reference to public sector costs was crystal clear, but so were his references to the retail, legal service and other sectors.

In short, it was a case of, if you will please excuse the phrase, "a lot done but more to do".

The fiscal adjustment here has been incredibly painful so far, and despite the IMF's call for more growth policies worldwide, it seems it will be some time before their message becomes any kind of policy.

Irish Independent

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