Republic of Ireland on track for bailout exit

The Republic of Ireland may be in a position to exit its bailout later this year after passing its penultimate review by lenders.

It successfully concluded the latest EU/IMF review, the department of finance in Dublin has said.

The 85bn euro (£73bn) aid deal was forced on the country after its biggest banks collapsed in 2010.

Ireland sought help after a property crash left its banks massively under-capitalised.

The EU faces deep public dissatisfaction with spending cuts and tax hikes across the eurozone and the wider European Union.

If it exits the scheme on schedule in December 2013 Ireland will be the first of the four countries bailed out by the eurozone to wean itself off emergency aid.

"Ireland has successfully completed the 11th review mission and we continue to meet our targets," the department of finance said in a statement.

It added it has now drawn about 91% of the available funding.

'Fiscal consolidation'

The troika review started on 9 July ended on Thursday. The troika consists of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The troika noted in a statement that the programme remains on track and yields on sovereign bonds are well below what they had been in recent years.

"Further progress towards sustainable public finances is necessary to sustain improved funding conditions," the troika said.

"Budget 2014 should bring the high debt and deficit down in line with Ireland's commitments and continue Ireland's track record of steady fiscal consolidation efforts."

It urged the authorities to develop further structural reforms to enable continued consolidation to be achieved.

The troika also called for faster progress to repair Ireland's financial sector, with the immediate priority being the high level of impaired loans.

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