In the ongoing battle to save the euro-zone some of its members have emerged as strategists, others have seemed more like pacifists and a few have entered the fray as real fighters, ploughing on despite still healing battle scars. Ireland is one country which has fought long, hard and quite successfully when it comes to repairing the damage done to its struggling economy.
Despite a difficult domestic backdrop and the knock on effects of the global economic slowdown Ireland has managed to stick to the exacting terms of its bailout agreement.
Representatives from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank (known as the troika) recently conducted their summer review of the Emerald Isle.
Although the report issued by the commission stated that downside risks to the programme have increased it added that this is mainly the result of ‘growing headwinds’ effecting the economies if Ireland’s primary trading partners. The report also implied that in the near-to-medium term growth for the nation would be dependent on export demand.
Overall however the commission was satisfied and asserted that the recovery programme was on track. They have now authorised the release of Ireland’s latest bailout instalment.
The 1.7 billion euro’s of emergency loans Ireland will now receive takes the total amount of European funding allocated to the nation to 36.7 billion euro’s.
1 billion euro’s of the latest instalment comes from the European Financial Stability Facility’s funding stream, the other 700 million euro’s will be provided by the bilateral loan scheme which directs Britain, Denmark and Sweden’s contributions.
There was further good news for Ireland today with the announcement that a US financial services firm plans to more than double its workforce and create 400 new jobs in Limerick with the support of the Government through IDA Ireland. The posts available will include positions in IT, hedge fund accounting, human resources, real estate administration and finance among others.
Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said of the news: ‘I commend my officials, the IDA and all involved in securing this investment. As we in Government continue to implement our plan for jobs and growth I am determined to ensure that we can see more announcements like this around the country in the coming years.’
One of the main criticisms levelled at Ireland by the Troika in its summer report concerned its persistent problem with unemployment, which reached 14.8 per cent in June of this year. The report stated that: ‘more needs to be done to alleviate or eliminate work incentives and unemployment traps caused by some features of Ireland’s benefits system’.
This jobs boost in Limerick is the first the area has experienced for three years (since the 2009 closure of the Dell plant). It is hoped that the company expansion will become a good source of employment for recent graduates.
It is a development which has raised the optimism of many, including Finance Minister Michael Noonan who was quoted as saying: ‘I hope that the success of Northern Trust in Limerick and today’s vote of confidence will encourage other financial services companies to establish in the region.’
Although Ireland has seen some success in its attempts at righting its economy these two positive developments will no doubt give the country a boost. At a time where the euro-zone is struggling in response to the uncertainty surrounding the Spanish bailout good news for any of its 17 nations is sure to be well received.
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2454
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6219
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5525
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.3019
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