Irish economy 'particularly vulnerable' - EU


The European Commission has warned the Irish economy is particularly vulnerable in the wake of the housing boom and the erosion of its competitive position.

In a report released today, the Commission recommends careful prioritisation of public spending, strengthening productivity and rebuilding competitiveness as key factors in helping the country to weather the current financial crisis.

The report is part of a regular review of Member States’ national programmes to create growth and jobs. Each country’s progress is monitored by economic experts and specific recommendations are issued.

The recommendations are not legally binding but are nevertheless a political instrument to ensure that Member States implement their policy commitments.

The Irish report also recommends investing in education and training, improving infrastructure and reforming pensions to help the economy adjust and gradually return to growth.

It praised efforts to stable the beleaguered banking sector saying the support measures introduced would “help improve access to finance and thus support the wider economy and underpin macro-economic stability.”

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the EU must agree and implement the much-needed structural reforms set out in the report’s recommendations “to pave the way for a gradual but lasting return to creating growth and jobs, within a greener and fairer economy.”