IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Ireland

“It is a great pleasure to be back in Ireland. I had the privilege of meeting Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Deputy Prime Minister Joan Burton, Minister of Finance Michael Noonan, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, Governor of the Central Bank Patrick Honohan, and their colleagues. I also participated in the conference Ireland—Lessons from Its Recovery from the Bank-Sovereign Loop, which was sponsored by the Central Bank of Ireland, the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and the IMF, where we had candid and constructive discussions with stakeholders who brought a range of perspectives.

“I congratulated the authorities for the strong ownership and steadfast implementation of their program supported by the EU and the IMF. These efforts were essential for Ireland’s economic recovery... That said, unemployment remains too high and many people are not yet feeling the benefits of the recovery.

“Ireland’s implementation of a measured and balanced fiscal adjustment has been critical to its success. I encouraged the authorities to continue with this approach. Moving toward a balanced budget over time will put Ireland’s high debt on a downward path. Such a sound fiscal position can help underpin a sustained recovery by securing financial stability and reinforcing the confidence needed to invest and create jobs.

“I would like to thank the authorities and the Irish people for their gracious hospitality.”

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