Monday 18 December 2017

IMF backs Ireland's progress

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

THE IMF praised the Government's implementation of the bailout programme but criticised Greece.

The IMF's annual report published in Washington yesterday said Ireland's commitment to the programme continued to be "strong".

The Irish authorities "have advanced wide-ranging reforms to restore the health of the country's financial system so it can support economic recovery," the report says. "Major progress in downsizing the country's banking system has been made, and fiscal consolidation remains on track."

The IMF lent €16.1bn to Ireland as part of the €85bn bailout package.

Turning to Greece, a spokesman for the fund said yesterday that it needed assurances that any financing gap in loans to Greece would be filled and that the country's debt was on a sustainable path before the IMF could disburse its share of the bailout.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said last week that Greece's financing shortfall wouldn't be solved with just the budget measures being discussed, because its growth prospects were too weak.

She said the Greek debt would have "to be addressed", pushing European policy makers to consider writing off some of the aid to the country.

Irish Independent

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