Business Irish

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Debt Crisis: EC boss Barroso praises Ireland’s progress but more pain to come

Enda Kenny and Jose -Manuel Barroso meet in Brussels. Photo: PA
Enda Kenny and Jose -Manuel Barroso meet in Brussels. Photo: PA reporters

EUROPEAN Commission president Jose-Manuel Barroso said today there are signs that Ireland’s economy is growing and improving.

However, as the Government gears up for €4bn in cuts in the Budget, he warned that policy implementation was “essential.”

Mr Barroso added an agreement for lower interest rates on the European part of our €67.5bn EU/IMF/ECB bailout loans was an achievement.

“The agreement of European Union leaders to reduce the margin on European Union loans to Ireland, which I have been long arguing for, is a significant achievement,” he said.

“It will bring important savings for Irish taxpayers.”

Mr Barroso and Taoiseach Enda Kenny held a 45 minute meeting in Brussels today.

Mr Barroso is meeting eurozone bosses ahead of a crunch October 23 meeting about the European sovereign debt crisis.

“We have very similar views on what needs to be done to support Greece inside the euro to give maximum possible flexibility to the European Financial Stability Facility, to beef up European Union banks’ capital positions.”

Mr Kenny said that Ireland is against bondholder writedowns for countries other than Greece but supported the expansion of the scope of the EFSF.

"The maximum flexibility and maximum use of the existing tools that are there go a long way to dealing with the crisis that we face now," Mr Kenny said.

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