Merkel praises Ireland’s bailout exit during visit

By Madeline O’Connor

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called Ireland’s exit from its bailout programme as a “tremendous success story”.

She made her comments after meeting the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in Dublin on Friday, in the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders since December when Ireland exited its EU bailout.

Chancellor Merkel was in Ireland for the European People’s Party Congress, which happened in Dublin. During her trip she also met the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore at Government Buildings.

Speaking at a press conference following their meeting, Ms Merkel said it was vital that lessons were learned from the past and Europe must work closely on the banking union.

Ireland was the first eurozone member state to complete its exit from the European Union International Monetary Fund bailout programme, having asked for an international bailout in November 2010.

Until three quarters of the 85bn euro loans are paid off, it will still be under “enhanced supervision”.

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