Government won’t be gung-ho on bailout exit, Taoiseach says

Strategy will boost confidence in Ireland abroad


The Government will not be acting in a “gung-ho” fashion when it exits the bailout next month because it will be a time for reflection, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Young Fine Gael national conference in Waterford on Saturday.

“There won’t be any celebrations or gung-ho talk in Government about this,” he said. “We’ll publish, on the 16th of December hopefully, an economic medium-term strategy setting out the next steps,” he said. This is the day after the EU/IMF rescue ends.

He said this would show that Ireland was not going to repeat its mistakes and it would boost international confidence in Ireland.

Mr Kenny said the 12 visits by the troika were “very invasive, very analytical, very deeply probing”. When he sat at the European Council table, shortly after being elected Taoiseach, “it was perfectly obvious that there was a sense of mistrust, a lack of belief, around that table...and for our part we have worked very hard to rebuild that in our country’s interests and in your interests.”

He said the Government never asked anyone for a formal credit line application, as an insurance policy after the bailout, because it had received advice from a range of experts and believed this was the best way forward.

“Our job is to put in place structures so that you young people and anyone who follows you will never have to deal with this type of a politically, economically charged situation in future,” he told the hundreds of Young Fine Gael members attending the conference.

“We were here before but we cannot be here again because this time it will be different...I say never again will we allow the country to go back to what we had started to deal with just two and a half years ago and the changes that have been made in politics and the new regulations that are now in place will see to it that that never happens again.”

He said he never wanted to see a situation again “where thousands and thousands of your brothers and sisters and relations and friends are required to leave the country”.

He also told the conference that funds were in place for the youth guarantee and it would be rolled out as planned from January. “What it essentially means is if someone becomes unemployed within four months they are going to get either an upskilling, a real job opportunity or whatever...It’s not going to be easy to do this...but we want to see that the guarantee is rolled out, starting from the first of January.”