Taoiseach's speech on agreement with the ECB
Even as the lower interest rates resulting with this agreement reduce Ireland’s deficit, a very large and unsustainable gap between Government revenues and spending remains to be fixed – a gap unrelated to our banking crisis. Only we in Ireland can fix this problem by reforming the way our State and country works.
We continue to negotiate to improve other core elements of the onerous bail-out deal inherited from the previous Government. Today, we have secured a vastly better deal on the cost of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide. Tomorrow we continue our efforts to seek European assistance to recover as much taxpayers’ money as possible from the other financial institutions bailed out by the State.
Eurozone leaders, including Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande, have publicly recognized the unique circumstances behind Ireland’s sovereign debt crisis and have mandated the eurogroup to address these issues.
What today shows is that the more Ireland is prepared to help itself, the more others will assist us along the difficult path we still have to travel.
It is a step forward in accelerating our path back to economic recovery and renewed job creation.
It can give us confidence that our goals are achievable, that our hopes are realisable.
It is important to recognise the independent efforts of the Irish Central Bank Governor, his staff and officials from the ECB in securing this agreement. I am confident that it will contribute hugely to the ongoing rebuilding of trust between Irish and European authorities in the management of the banking crisis.
Today’s result has been brought about a strong and determined collective effort by the entire Government. I want to thank the Tanaiste and all Ministers for their contribution to this outcome.
Most of all, I want to publicly thank the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and his officials for leading these negotiations to a successful conclusion. Their dedicated service to the State in their tireless, persistent and patient work over the past 18th months should be an inspiration to us all.
I commend this agreement to the House.