Fine Gael TD for Cavan/Monaghan, Sean Conlan, has met with officials from the Troika during their final mission to Dublin before Ireland exits the bailout on December 15th. Deputy Conlan was one of three Fine Gael backbench TDs chosen to meet the Troika in what is the first meeting of its kind in Ireland and internationally. They were joined by two Labour party deputies. Prior to today’s meeting, representatives from the Troika have only met with members of Cabinet or members of the Opposition, but they have not held discussions with backbench TDs.
“Our discussions focused on how Ireland can avoid ever getting into the situation where we are reliant on others to come in and run our economy. It was the Troika’s first ever meeting with Government backbenchers in Ireland and internationally, and represents a significant change in the Troika’s procedures. The frank, constructive and open discussions included topics such as the proposed Precautionary Credit Line, job creation and labour activation measures, use of resources from the sale of state assets, the stability of long-term bank debt, professional services fees, access to credit for small businesses and the Irish property market.
Speaking after the meeting, Deputy Conlan said that “The Troika officials were very receptive to our views, and said that they were eager to engage with TDs on the next steps for Ireland, to make for an orderly and successful exit from our financial assistance programme on December 15th. Everyone agreed that the goal was to put Ireland on a stable footing, and make sure that the real sacrifices of the Irish people over the past few years are repaid with a real sense that we can look forward to a real recovery, for our economy but also for our society. It is clearer than ever, after this meeting, that Ireland will exit the bailout, stand on its own two feet again, and make its own decisions on issues like the ‘backstop’ facility – based solely on what is best for Ireland.”
“My constituents, as with people all around the country, have been affected by the collapse of the economy and the resulting bailout measures overseen by the Troika. I believe that it is democratically correct for the Troika to meet the backbenchers such as myself so as I can relay the experience of the people I represent to them.
“Fine Gael was elected into Government less than three months after the arrival of the Troika in Dublin. I believe that the previous governments invitation to the Troika represented the lowest point in the history of the Irish State. Few predicted that we would regain our economic sovereignty and that we would be creating 3,000 jobs a month within three years.
“Ireland is on the road to recovery. 34,000 new jobs have been created in the last year alone. We are on track to exit the bailout by the end of the year, our competitiveness has improved and bond yields have plummeted.”