German Chancellor Angela Merkel praises Ireland's bailout exit

image source, Reuters
image caption, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny during a news conference in Government Buildings in Dublin

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described Ireland's exit from its bailout programme as a "tremendous success story".

She made her comments after meeting the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in Dublin on Friday.

It was the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders since Ireland exited its EU bailout in December.

Chancellor Merkel was visiting Ireland for the European People's Party Congress, which took place in the city.

She also met the Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) Eamon Gilmore during her meeting with Mr Kenny at Government Buildings.

Speaking at a press conference after their meeting, Ms Merkel said it was important that lessons were learned from the past and, she said, Europe had to work closely on the banking union.

Ireland was the first eurozone member state to complete its exit from the European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout programme.

The country will still remain under "enhanced supervision" until three quarters of the 85bn euro loans are paid off.

The Irish economy is emerging from one of the deepest recessions in the eurozone, having sought an international bailout in November 2010.

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