Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Merkel: Ireland tremendous success

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrive for a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin

German chancellor Angela Merkel has branded Ireland a tremendous success after emerging from the bailout and claimed she was positive about talks on a European banking union.

Speaking at Government Buildings in Dublin, Mrs Merkel said she wanted to pay her respects and admiration to the people of Ireland for struggling through austerity measures in the wake of the financial collapse.

"For me as I just said, what's most important is that the Irish programme first and foremost can be seen as completed and that is tremendous success story that you were able to emerge from this bailout programme," she said.

"We've all I think learned our lessons of the past and part and parcel of that is that we need to work together very closely on financial issues for example as regards banking union, there are still talks outstanding on the innovative details of that."

Asked about the possibility of Ireland getting a deal on its banking debt, she said talks were ongoing on a banking union across Europe.

"I must say that I can only say I have a positive outlook on the possible outcome," she said.

"We have achieved much but we are not at the end of the road yet."

Mrs Merkel was in Dublin for the European People's Party conference.

After the gathering she held face-to-face talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings.

Mr Kenny said nothing could be done on a possible deal to ease Ireland's banking debt burden until a European banking supervisor was put in place.

"Nothing can be done about it until the end of the year," he said.

"The chancellor is hopeful that there will be a good result."

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