Ireland 'model' for bailout, says EC chief
IRELAND will be hailed as a model of what can be achieved by bailout countries, with the European Commission (EC) insisting it has been "one of (our) best friends".
EC President Jose Manuel Barroso (57) will use a keynote speech in Cork tonight to urge Ireland to remember what EU membership has delivered and how EU solidarity helped the country through the darkest days of its economic crisis.
The EC boss will also stress that he personally backed Ireland's case for lower interest rates and longer maturities on loans following the November 2010 bailout.
"The EU Commission will continue to stand by Ireland now that you have exited the programme," Mr Barroso will promise, as details of his speech were released last night.