Prime Minister Enda Kenny told a gathering of his Fine Gael party that “the economic emergency will be over” when the country exits its €85bn (£72bn) bailout on 15 December, confirming the official date of the exit for the first time.
“There’s still a long way to go. But at last, the era of the bailout will be no more,” Kenny said.
Earlier, finance minister Michael Noonan gave the clearest signal yet the country may exit without a precautionary credit line and said he expected to comfortably beat EU deficit targets next year.
Refusing to take a precautionary credit line would block Ireland from accessing the ECB’s as-yet-unused Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme of government bond purchases. But it would also reduce conditions and monitoring from European officials and bolster the government’s claim to have restored economic sovereignty lost by the previous government.