The European Union has one less member country to worry about now that Ireland has received the last part of its $114 billion bailout, Reuters reported Thursday.
In 2009, Ireland’s banking sector crashed and the country sought aid from its EU partners. Five years later, the lenders -- the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund -- are conducting their final review of the bailout, checking to see if Ireland meets every target set by the governing bodies. Only then will the last set of aid be released.
Ireland has endured five years of austerity, with virtually no resultant social unrest, compared with the widespread protests seen in Greece and Spain against austerity measures.
EU commissioner Olli Rehn said Wednesday that while the decision on an exit strategy was “by and large for the Irish Government,” Ireland was well-funded, as reported by the Irish Times.
“The Irish sovereign is now well-funded with quite significant cash reserves that serve as a buffer,” Rehn said, adding that Ireland was seen as “an economic turnaround,” with growth returning and improvements in the unemployment rate.