Saturday 17 March 2018

IMF’s Christine Lagarde: Europe should go the extra mile for Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny greets Christine Lagarde at Government Buildings
Taoiseach Enda Kenny greets Christine Lagarde at Government Buildings
Christine Lagarde in Doheny and Nesbitts with fellow pub-goer Jacqueline Long

By Ailish O’Hora

INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has said Europe should go the extra mile in helping Ireland out of its economic woes.

Speaking in Dublin today she was upbeat about the country’s future although further work needs to be done in the banking sector, she warned.

“What has been done is huge. The determination showed in implementing the [bailout] programme is extraordinary. I would say more than 2/3 of the work has been done in terms of fiscal policies.”

Ms Lagarde also said the IMF is open to other ways of helping the country towards economic recovery other than the extension of payback deadlines for the EU/IMF/ECB bailout loans which could save billions.

“We have an open mind over many of the terms of the exit strategy. As far as the adjustment to the loans. It's not just about extension of the maturity, but certainly it includes that,” she said.

“We will look at that with the troika with, in focus, the imperative of helping Ireland exit successfully the programme it has implemented.”

She was also upbeat about the future.

“Sometimes there is a worry about what is at the end of the road. There is clearly hope at the end of this road.”

Ms Lagarde will also deliver a keynote address at a conference in Dublin Castle today on International Women's Day.

The former French Finance Minister wished Irish women and those around the world a good day.

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