“Yet again this Government has defied its critics and secured a deal on our debt which will significantly ease pressure on our economy. As the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore eloquently summarised the situation this morning, this is a massive breakthrough for Ireland which really changes the game for us as far as bank debt is concerned.
“The Government now has an opportunity to re-engineer the debt burden on our taxpayers in a move that also sees our chances of avoiding a second bailout improved. These were two key objectives for the Government heading into the summit and the deal is a major feat given that it has occurred against the backdrop of the most strained European economic landscape in recent memory.
“A key aspect of this agreement has been the specific recognition by Eurozone leaders of Ireland’s well-performing adjustment programme. It is clear that Ireland’s diligence has worked in our favour and strengthened our hand at the EU negotiating table.
“This deal is a further example of how the Government has been steadily securing incremental progress on a range of things since it came to office – the renegotiation of the EU/IMF payment timeline, a reduction in our interest rate, and on the pro-notes issue. Other key developments include the restoration of the minimum wage and the exemption of 330,000 workers from the Universal Social Charge. These were key planks of Labour Party policy heading into Coalition and it is pleasing to see them being realised in the early stages of the Government’s tenure.”
“I look forward to the next steps in the process getting underway and to furthering the growth agenda at the next meeting of Eurozone leaders on July 9.”