EU leaders welcome poll result


European Union president Herman Van Rompuy said today Ireland's backing of the EU's fiscal treaty in a referendum is an "important step" toward stability.

"I welcome the positive outcome of the referendum in Ireland," Mr Van Rompuy said today in a statement.

"With this vote, the Irish people have given their endorsement and commitment to European integration. This result is an important step towards recovery and stability," he said.

European Commission president José Manuel Barroso also welcomed the result.

“This treaty is a key component of the EU’s response to the current economic crisis. Restoring sustainability to public finances remains an important objective,” he said.

“I know that many voiced their concerns about the need for growth during the campaign.

"The European Commission believes that stability and growth go together and that we cannot have one without the other. The Commission will continue to build on its agenda for structural reform and targeted investment to boost growth. Earlier this week we published proposals designed to get the EU growing again which we hope will be strongly supported in Ireland.

“Ireland has established a strong track record in implementing its EU-IMF financial programme. Today’s vote represents a significant step towards Ireland’s economic recovery and its place at the heart of the EU.”

German chancellor Angela Merkel said Irish voters provided "good news for Ireland and for Europe" by backing the treaty. "The referendum result strengthens the euro zone's joint course toward the creation of a new, lasting stability union," she said in a statement.

The vote deserves "particular recognition and respect" because of the hardship the Irish are enduring, she said. "The lasting stabilisation of the economic and currency union can be achieved only together and not overnight."

Additional reporting: Bloomberg