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IMF's Christine Lagarde back to discuss bailout 'success'

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IMF chief Christine Lagarde

IMF chief Christine Lagarde

Finance Minister Michael Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan

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IMF chief Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will return to Dublin on Monday to take part in a major conference on Ireland's Troika bailout experience.

She will also pay a visit to "her friend" Finance Minister Michael Noonan in the Department of Finance who will be joined by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin.

Ms Lagarde may also find time to meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny. She was famously a guest of Mr Noonan in Doheny and Nesbitt's pub on Baggott Street on her last visit to Dublin in March 2013.

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She was also France's Finance Minister at the height of the crash and was known to be on good terms with the late Brian Lenihan, Mr Noonan's predecessor.

Mr Noonan, Mr Howlin and Ms Lagarde will hold a meeting at the department during which Ireland's post-Troika economic recovery will be discussed. Also to be mentioned is Ireland's premature repayment of €18bn of IMF loans, which is seen by both sides as "highly significant".

They will address the media afterwards. Mr Noonan, Mr Howlin and Ms Lagarde will all be partaking in the IMF/Central Bank conference on "Ireland - Lessons from Its Recovery from the Bank-Sovereign Loop".

It is expected that Ms Lagarde and other senior EU figures will seek to claim credit from EU/IMF for the design and structure of Ireland's controversial €85bn 2010-2013 programme.

However, Mr Noonan and Mr Howlin are also likely to emphasise the changes to the programme made by the Government on taking office.

Mr Noonan is expected to emphasise certain "growth- oriented moves" such as targeted VAT reductions and the Action Plan for Jobs programme. He is also very likely to discuss his scrapping the prommissory note in early 2013 and the liquidation of the IBRC, as well as renegotiating of interest rates on the original punitive bailout.

The conference is being held in the shadow of the Greek elections, which may dominate the agenda at the conference.

Back in 2013, during a two-day visit to Dublin, Ms Lagarde, met with a host of senior government ministers and officials. But it was her visit to the pub with Mr Noonan and now Tanaiste Joan Burton which caught attention.

She said Michael had promised her a drink when she came to Dublin as the boss of the IMF.

"So we had the occasion of doing that yesterday for a very brief period, but certainly very enjoyable," she said at the time.

hnews@herald.ie


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