31st October 2013, Thursday
Fine Gael Cork North Central TD and Chair of Fine Gael’s Internal European Affairs Committee, Dara Murphy, will today (9.30am) lead a delegation of Government TDs in their first ever meeting with Troika officials. The meeting, which is being held in the Department of Finance, is the first of its kind in Ireland and internationally, and represents a significant change in the Troika’s procedures.
“Up to this point, representatives from the Troika have only met with members of Government or members of the Opposition, but they have not held discussions with backbench TDs in either of the Government parties. This has left a serious democratic deficit in terms of the views they have been hearing. While both Parties in Government support the measures that have been taken to reduce the deficit and get us out of the bailout, there is no doubt that backbench TDs have been eager to have greater interaction with those holding the purse strings.
“I have been working to bring about this meeting for at least a year through my role as Chair of the Fine Gael Internal European Affairs Committee. This meeting is the first time that senior Troika officials will have met backbench TDs from Fine Gael and Labour. It is important that ordinary representatives from the country’s two largest political parties have an opportunity to meet with Troika officials, to express our views and reflect our democratic mandate.
“Our discussions will focus around our exit from the bailout and the conditions which would be attached to any cautionary credit line. I am also keen to hear the views of the Troika on what Ireland can learn from the bailout process. As this is the last Troika mission before the conclusion of the bailout, it is important that we garner advice on how to ensure we never have to enter a programme of assistance again.
“The Irish people have been through a very tough couple of years. All of their hard work, resilience and patience is beginning to pay off. When this Government came into office two and a half years ago, we only had enough money to fund public services for another few months. Now, bond yields have plummeted, 3,000 jobs are being created every month and the economy is growing again. We are on track to exit the bailout in a month and a half’s time, and I want to hear from the Troika on how we can do this in the most sensible and effective way possible.
“Troika officials have acted as the auditors of the Irish economy over the last three years, and tomorrow’s meeting will give us an opportunity to give them our views, but also to get advice on the next steps which are needed to keep our economy on a sustainable track.”