Bailout programme 'remains on track' - TroikaThursday 09 May 2013 15.11
Ireland’s bailout programme remains on track, according to the tenth review by the EU/ECB/IMF Troika.
The review concludes that the gradual recovery is continuing and there have been further improvements in market conditions for the sovereign and the banks.
Staff teams from the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund visited Dublin between 23 April and 2 May.
The teams noted that the authorities had made significant progress on financial sector repair and restoring sustainability to the public finances.
However, they pointed to remaining challenges which they said require "continuing policy efforts".
The troika says further progress is required by the banks to resolve unsustainable SME debts, which it says will help bolster job creation.
It calls on the authorities to monitor the reduction in mortgage arrears by the banks, a process which it says got off to a disappointingly slow start.
However, it notes that a normalisation of the financial sector is gradually continuing with the smooth phase-out of the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee scheme.
The report calls for strict implementation of Budget measures, including in the health sector, in order to meet the deficit ceiling of 7.5% of GDP.
It notes the progress that Ireland has made in recovering lost competitiveness in recent years which it says should be continued through opening up competition in sheltered sectors such as legal services.
Concluding disposal of state assets can support job-creating investment projects, it says.
The conclusion of the review will see a further €2.5bn of funds disbursed to the government.
The next review is due to take place in July.