Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro

Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro

Speaking after the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, Wednesday, Vice-President, Olli Rehn, was more than upbeat, congratulating: “Ireland and Spain, the Irish and the Spanish people, for the decisions of today. Ireland’s decision to exit the programme without a precautionary credit facility is very important. I know the Irish Government reflected very carefully on this matter. The Commission has always made very clear that this was a decision for Ireland to take and that we would support Ireland, whatever it decided.”

Rehn added: “Ireland has made very impressive progress and is well placed to make a successful and durable exit from its programme. While challenges remain, Ireland’s graduation from the programme will send a very clear signal to markets and international lenders that the adjustment effort undertaken with the support of its European and international partners, has paid off.”

“Ireland has accumulated significant cash reserves under the programme, which has been helped by the decision taken this year by European creditors to extend the maturities on loans granted to Ireland. This, and earlier decisions on maturities and interest rates, have made a major contribution to further enhancing prospects for a durable return to the markets. Today, we have also seen the important decision that Spain will exit its financial sector programme next January, as foreseen.”

Rehn remarked: “The programme for Spain has provided a very effective framework for the repair of the Spanish financial sector. As a result of that, Spanish financial markets have stabilised, the liquidity situation of Spanish banks has improved, deposits have been rising and banks have ample access to funding markets. Their solvency position has also remained comfortable. Moreover, the restructuring of banks having received State Aid is well underway, guided by the restructuring plans adopted by the Commission.”

“The governance, as well as regulatory and supervisory framework of the banking sector in Spain has been significantly strengthened. It will be important to swiftly complete this work by the adoption or implementation of all agreed measures, especially the reform of the governance of the savings banks, which were at the origins of the problems in Spain. Today we received the Eurostat flash estimate for GDP for the third quarter of 2013. The flash estimate shows a continuing modest recovery in Europe.”

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