Saturday 24 March 2018

Emmet Oliver: Upbeat report card a good first step, but tougher tests lie ahead

AS mid-term reports go, the IMF and EU have given Ireland much stronger grades than anyone could have expected back in the dark days of November when our €85bn bailout was agreed.

In fact, a relieved-looking representative of the EU Commission said yesterday Ireland didn't miss a single target set down in the latest review by the country's lenders.

Progress has certainly been made -- the toxic issue of the banks, for example, is now no longer in the international headlines. The issue of bank bondholders, while certainly not solved, has at least been neutralised, while reforms of the labour market are under way and a new spending and tax watchdog (the Fiscal Council) has been set up to make sure Ireland never again lets its public finances get so out of control.

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