Ireland PM Enda Kenny says the country's 'credibility' is restored

Enda Kenny: "The government will work with you to put in place the foundations for a secure and prosperous future"

Related Stories

The Irish Republic's prime minister has marked the end of the country's bailout programme with a speech to the nation.

In a televised address, Enda Kenny said Ireland's "good name and our credibility" had been restored.

He warned that difficult economic decisions remained, with a new medium-term economic plan due to be set out this week.

But he promised that never again would "Ireland's stability be threatened by speculation and greed".

Ireland is the first eurozone nation to complete the lending deal put in place by a group of international lenders, known as the troika.

The country was rescued with a three-year 85bn euro ($117bn; £71bn) package when borrowing on the financial markets became too expensive and Ireland faced bankruptcy.

Start Quote

It does send out a powerful signal internationally, that Ireland is fighting back”

End Quote Enda Kenny Prime Minister

From Monday, Ireland regains its financial independence and is once again able to raise money on the capital markets in the same way as other countries.

'No overnight change'

The Taoiseach said: "Ireland will again stand as a full member of the eurozone, with the same rules, obligations, supports and opportunities as all other member states."

The troika - the European Union, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank - had held significant control over policymaking and the direction of the Irish economy.

The troika insisted on tax rises, structural reforms and the sale of state assets in exchange for the bailout, and reviewed Ireland's progress every three months.

The country's economic destiny was now back in its own hands, the prime minister said. "This is an important step but it is not an end in itself. Our lives won't change overnight.

"But it does send out a powerful signal internationally, that Ireland is fighting back, that the spirit of our people is as strong as ever."

The Irish economy is emerging from one of the deepest recessions in the eurozone, and is forecast to grow by about 2% next year. Unemployment has fallen below 13%, from a 15.1% peak in 2012.

Job-creation

But, said Mr Kenny, "we must continue to pursue prudent budgetary policies. That's what convinces those who create jobs that Ireland is a place in which they can invest with confidence.

"Everyone knows that you can't keep spending more than you are earning. As of today, we have already completed over 90% of the necessary cuts and tax increases.

"As a result, we can now begin to reduce the national debt burden."

Job-creation would be at the heart of this week's economic plan, he said.

"Three years ago, 1,600 jobs were being lost in this country every week. Now - every week - over 1,000 extra new jobs are being created.

"That's progress, but we must build on it.

"We will remove the barriers to new jobs in key sectors, and reform the welfare system to provide supports and incentives for unemployed people to take up new jobs," he said.

The economies of Greece, Portugal and Cyprus continue to be supported by the bailout process.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    07:00: Royal Bank of Scotland BBC Radio 4
    RBS

    Late on Friday, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) shares fell 4% after it admitted it had overstated its financial strength as part of the European Central Bank's stress tests. David Cumming, head of UK equities at Standard Life, tells the Today programme that "it's an embarrassing mistake". But, he adds: "Ironically, RBS has one of the best capital ratio positions of the UK banks now, so there's nothing from a customers point of view to worry about".

     
  2.  
    06:50: Food producers' woes Radio 5 live

    It's like "removing nutrients from a plant," says Mr Swift of the squeeze on food producers. "Ultimately it will wither, and it may well die". He says the pressure on their profit margins leaves the firms "less able to deal with shocks." It is not the fixed prices for their goods that is hurting, he says, but the demand by supermarkets for suppliers to contribute to the cost of in-store advertising, promotions, or even refurbishment.

     
  3.  
    06:41: Food producers' woes Radio 5 live

    Duncan Swift, who works for the accountants behind the food producers report, Moore Stephens - tells Wake Up to Money that the supermarkets are "removing the blanket" of money that allows food suppliers to pay their own suppliers, and to pay their staff a decent wage. It also means that food producers have no money to invest in new products, he says.

     
  4.  
    06:39: Chinese interest rates
    China

    China's leadership and central bank are ready to cut interest rates again and loosen lending restrictions, over concerns that falling prices could trigger a surge in debt defaults, business failures and job losses, according to a report from Reuters. The People's Bank of China is also open to the idea of cutting the banking industry's reserve requirement ratio (RRR), which effectively restricts the amount of money available to fund loans.

     
  5.  
    06:24: Food producers' woes

    There's no doubt that customers are winning in the supermarkets' price war, which is pushing prices ever lower, but one industry is really feeling the pinch. A record number of small food suppliers are going out of business, according to a large accountancy firm, because big retailers are pressurising them to sell their wares more cheaply, which is eating into their profit margins.

     
  6.  
    06:14: Lewis Hamilton Radio 5 live
    Lewis Hamilton

    Our colleagues at Wake Up to Money have managed to find a business-related Lewis Hamilton anecdote. Apparently, the double F1 world champion (as of this weekend), was once awarded with a dedicated parking space at his local Asda supermarket.

     
  7.  
    06:03: Asian markets
    China central bank

    Asia's main markets are all up this morning, buoyed by Friday's unexpected rate cut by China's central bank, which has sparked hopes of more action to combat the country's slowing economy. The European Central Bank's vow to fight deflation has also brought cheer to investors. The Hang Seng is up almost 2% at 23,898.34 and the Shanghai Composite is up 2.2% at 2,541.54. The Nikkei is closed for a public holiday.

     
  8.  
    06:01: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning folks. As always you can get in touch via email to bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk and on Twitter @bbcbusiness.

     
  9.  
    06:01: Joe Miller Business Reporter

    Morning. There's a lot of news around today, but lets start with the Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank - still 80% owned by the taxpayer - has apologised for repeatedly giving incorrect evidence to a parliamentary hearing. The evidence concerned its controversial Global Restructuring Group, which handles the bank's loans to companies considered to be a possible risk. It was accused of killing off viable businesses.

     

Features

From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • Suspension bridge connecting mountain peaksThe Travel Show Watch

    Must-see global events including walking the first suspension bridge to connect mountain peaks

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.