Irish exit into the unknown

After three years of public sector spending cuts, Ireland looks set to exit the EU-ECB-IMF bailout programme on December 15, but at what cost? The country remains mired in depression and the economy is now hollowed out.

Published on 17 October 2013 at 11:39

Ireland is being held up once more as the star pupil of the austerity school of economics in Europe, with the Taoiseach [prime minister] Enda Kenny arguing that his government is exiting the bailout programme set by the troika of European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF. He says the era of austerity is coming to an end.

Both of these claims are clearly questionable, but they do illuminate some important features of the situation in Europe.

The policy of the Dublin government will continue to be set by the troika for many years to come. In fact the EU has already put in place a system of budget monitoring, regulation and even sanctions that will enshrine permanent austerity for all members of the euro.

In addition, it has become customary for the IMF to put in place a new credit facility once initial bailout money runs dry which has its own strings attached. Therefore it is untrue that austerity is at an end. Instead, the assets and loans held by Irish banks have become so devalued as a result of economic weakness that the risk of a new bailout for their creditors is rising.

Receive the best of European journalism straight to your inbox every Thursday

We hope you enjoyed this article.

Would you consider supporting our work? Voxeurop depends entirely on subscriptions and donations from its readers.

Discover our offers from €6/month including subscribers-only benefits.
Subscribe

Or make a donation to bolster our independence.
Donate

Are you a news organisation, a business, an association or a foundation? Check out our bespoke editorial and translation services.

Support border-free European journalism

See our subscription offers, or donate to bolster our independence

On the same topic