Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland to go it alone: Enda Kenny announces clean exit from bailout

BY Fionnan Sheahan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has announced the Republic will make a clean exit from the bailout, without an overdraft facility.

The decision was taken at a special Cabinet meeting this morning, where not taking up a credit line was recommended by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said the decision was "historic, important and welcome" but there will be no celebrations

Mr Kenny said he was informing the Dail of the decision as a courtesy.

"The Government has decided that Ireland will exit the EU -IMF assistance programme on December 15, without the need to pre-arrange a new precautionary credit line from our EU and IMF partners.

"This is the right decision for Ireland, and now is the right time to take this decision," he said.

But Mr Kenny said neither today’s decision, nor the exit from the bail-out in December, means the end of difficult economic decisions.

"There are still demanding times ahead. It does not mean any windfall of cash. It won’t mean that our economic and financial challenges are over," he said.

Mr Kenny said the Government will also publish a new Medium Term Economic Strategy to include a recommitment to bringing borrowing down to sustainable levels during the remainder of the coalition's term of office.

"It will be an economic plan based on enterprise, not speculation. Never again will our country's fortunes be sacrificed to speculation, greed and short-term gain," he said.

"And despite the economic challenges that people will continue to face in their daily lives, we will set out a path to a brighter economic future for our people, a path from mass unemployment to full employment; from involuntary emigration to the return of so many thousands of our people who have had to leave to find work.

"Nobody should doubt our commitment to finish the job we started when we took office.  Today is just the latest step on that ongoing journey: a significant step, for sure, but also, just another step towards our ultimate objective of getting Ireland working again," he added.

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