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IMF Statement on Ireland

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(9 February 2011) The Government has met initial targets set out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the conditions of the bailout plan agreed last year. In an  interim review of the progress of the implementation of the programme, the IMF said targets had been met despite continuing pressure on the financial system and political uncertainty. The interim review was carried out when the IMF mission visited Dublin during between January 12th and 21st. The review is part of the conditions of the bailout the Government sought from the IMF and EU. Publishing the results today, the IMF said the banks remained heavily reliant on emergency liquidity assistance, provided by central banks, as they have almost no access to market funding. Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan today welcomed the publication of the report and said he concurred with the IMF’s conclusion that the programme is on track. “I would agree with the IMF’s staff assessment that while the good start of the process to overhaul the Irish banking system is encouraging, there are significant challenges ahead," he said

“The Interim Staff Report released today shows that implementation of the authorities’ economic program supported by the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement has been on target, with end-December 2010 structural benchmarks and quantitative performance criteria having been met.

“Economic indicators suggest a modest export-led recovery is under way in Ireland. In the banking sector, progress is being made towards recapitalizing, deleveraging, resolving nonviable banks, and strengthening the bank resolution framework. Fiscal performance has been in line with program targets and the passage of the Finance Bill will facilitate program implementation in 2011. The authorities have put in place robust procedures for program implementation and monitoring.

“The first and second reviews of the program will be combined and held at a date to be determined once the new government will be formed. In the meantime, technical discussion will continue to assess progress and discuss operational aspects of policy implementation to achieve the objectives under the program.

“An IMF mission visited Dublin during January 12-21 to conduct a scheduled interim review of economic developments and policy implementation, as called for under the Fund’s Emergency Financing Mechanism.”

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