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ECB praises our crisis fightback

IRELAND is being held up as a role model in Europe as it successfully tackles the boom and bust economy.

The country has received top marks from outgoing European Central Bank member Jurgen Stark, who was in Dublin yesterday. The straight-talking banker told the Irish Institute of European Affairs that Ireland and the Irish economy has "stabilised" -- assisted by the IMF and EU bailout.

As other peripheral nations in Europe continue to tumble into chaos during the debt crisis, Ireland has held its own.

"The Irish case demonstrates that it is feasible, it's possible to implement progress (in austerity programmes) as long as there is support from the society and consensus across political parties," he said.


"Growth is faster than expected," he said. "It's good to be ahead of the curve and fully in line with the timetable (set out by the EU). There has been success in completing the recapitalisation and the restructuring of domestic banks is progressing," he added. "Labour market reform has made a significant impact."

But Dr Stark emphasised that cross-party political agreement, coupled with public support, was necessary to pull out of recession completely.

Governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield and Alan Dukes, of the IBRC, were among the policy makers to attend Dr Stark's address.