Within several weeks, Ireland will be standing on its own. On Dec. 15, the Emerald Isle will exit the bailout orchestrated by the European Union, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, known collectively as the troika, completely, without any precautionary line of credit, Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny announced Thursday.
The move means that the continent's infamous quintet of debt-choked nations -- Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain, sometimes referred to by the acronym "PIIGS" -- now has only four members.
Last Thursday, Ireland received the last part of its $114 billion bailout.
“This is the latest in a series of steps to return Ireland to normal economic, budgetary and funding conditions,” Kenny told the Sunday Business Post. “Like most other sovereign euro zone countries, from 2014 we will be in a position to fund ourselves normally on the markets.”
He also said difficult times still lay ahead for Ireland, but the bailout exit is a significant step to getting the country “back to work.” Ireland began austerity measures five years ago.
Leaving the bailout with a line of credit would have required signing attached conditions and negotiating with the troika.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan brought the bailout exit proposal to the cabinet Thursday morning and will relay the decision to other euro group finance ministers in Brussels later today. Kenny told the Sunday Business Post he had spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the plan, and that Merkel asked the German development bank KfW to work with Irish and German authorities to implement it.