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Saturday 21 April 2018

Ireland shows bailouts can be 'a success' says Germany ECB rep

An illuminated euro sign is seen in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in the late evening in Frankfurt January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
An illuminated euro sign is seen in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in the late evening in Frankfurt January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

IRELAND has shown bailout programmes can be “a success”, according to Germany’s representative on the European Central Bank.

ECB executive board member Joerg Asmussen said the risk of leaving without a backstop was “within acceptable limits given Ireland’s large cash returns”.

He congratulated the country on the decision to make a clean exit from the bailout.

 “I think it underlines the success of the, lets say, sometimes painful but unavoidable measures that Ireland had to take to regain debt sustainability,” he said.

“The Irish have proven these types of adjustment programmes can be a success and it’s key to have a strong ownership. And our bottom line has always been that there is more than one appropriate manner to exit the programme and it was ultimately up to Ireland to decide what it thinks is best for its future. So we certainly understand why Ireland has chosen this option and we fully support it,” he added on RTE Radio 1’s ‘The Business’.

Mr Asmussen said he supported the Government’s decision to exit without an overdraft facility.

“We have always said it up to the Irish authorities to decide what is best for their country,” he said.

But Mr Asmussen said the “fiscal, structural and financial reforms” will have to continue.

He said Ireland will “benefit” from the regular surveillance all EU countries have to be part of.

“The major achievement and the major efforts that were made lie with the Irish government, the Irish Central Bank and the citizens of Ireland.

“So that’s why I really can congratulate for the successful implementation of the programme, but I am pleased, of course, to notice that Ireland and also Spain these days show that adjustment programmes can work, that countries can exit the programme and have hopefully now a very successful future for their economy and for their citizens,” he said in an interview with George Lee on the programme.

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