Sunday 17 December 2017

Why these Spanish eyes see bright future for Ireland

One ECB board member says we're making all the right moves so far, writes Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

TRUST a Spaniard to brighten the national mood a bit. But then Spain has always helped us in the past. Even if the Armada never made it, it kept the English too busy to bother us for a while at least. And without holidays in modern Spain most of us would suffer miserable summers, not to mention chronic vitamin D deficiency.

Two weeks ago European Central Bank (ECB) president Jean-Claude Trichet described Ireland's efforts as "impressive", but stopped short of saying our economy had turned around. His colleague, Spanish board member Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, was in Dublin on Friday and gave me an exclusive face-to-face interview. When I asked him if the economies of Europe and Ireland were set for recovery this year, he was more willing to inject some vitamin C (confidence) into the conversation.

"Indicators move up and down and you have to go deep into the trends and we have seen since the last part of 2009 that, first of all, figures are now in the black and second that there is a trend of moderate growth that we expect to be maintained all the time -- with some uneven behaviour probably and big uncertainty remaining. But I think we have now turned an 'inflection point' and are heading in a different direction.

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