Irish bailout programme 'tremendous success story' - Merkel

Saturday 08 March 2014 09.31
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It was the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders since Ireland exited the bailout in December
It was the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders since Ireland exited the bailout in December
Angela Merkel was welcomed by Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny at Government Buildings this afternoon (Pic: EPA)
Angela Merkel was welcomed by Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny at Government Buildings this afternoon (Pic: EPA)
The leaders held a news conference at Government Buildings
The leaders held a news conference at Government Buildings
Anti-austerity protesters gathered outside Government Buildings
Anti-austerity protesters gathered outside Government Buildings

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the Irish bailout programme is a "tremendous success story" and it is important that it can be seen as "completed".

Ms Merkel was speaking at Government Buildings where she met Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore this afternoon.

Chancellor Merkel was in Ireland for the European People's Party Congress, which took place in Dublin.

It is the first bilateral meeting between the leaders since Ireland exited the bailout in December.

Speaking at a press conference after their meeting, Ms Merkel said it was important that lessons were learned from the past and, she said, Europe had to work closely on the banking union.

Chancellor Merkel said she has a positive outlook on discussions relating to rules for recapitalisation of bank debt.

She said: "We should have a single supervisory mechanism. We shall also conclude discussions on a single recovery mechanism and necessary rules for recapitalisation.

"All of that is currently in consultation process and I must say I have a positive outlook on the outcome.

"We have achieved much, but we're not at the end of the road yet."

Mr Kenny said the issue of statelessness in relation to corporation tax in Ireland is being dealt with.

He said: "In respect of corporation tax, ours is statute based, we are participating in the 15 different sectors that apply in the OECD.

"The Minister for Finance, in the last Budget, dealt with the issue of statelessness. We've pointed out very clearly that we can only tax where we can tax here and the stateless issue is now being dealt with."

Ms Merkel said a level playing field is required in respect of tax and that changes are required in the next few years.

"We asked the OECD to develop clear rules for this and the G20 dealt with this," she said.

"I think things need to change in the next few years and they will change and we will have a level playing field on this, so I think we're on the same page and are on a good track."

Ms Merkel ended her time in Ireland tonight with a visit to Trinity College.

She took part in a question-and-answer session with students on topics from European security to her favourite book.