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Noonan 'top minister'

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has been named European Finance Minister of the Year by an influential magazine.

The Banker, which is published by the Financial Times, hailed Mr Noonan's efforts in Ireland's exit from the bailout programme and borrowing money on the open market again.

"Ireland endured one of the worst recessions in Europe after the financial crisis, with high unemployment, higher taxes, spending cuts and a property bust.

"Most economists would concur with our decision," said the magazine as it named Mr Noonan the top money man in Europe.