Irish economy will bounce back: PM

1st October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Ireland's economy will bounce back, Prime Minister Brian Cowen pledged Friday, insisting the debt-ridden country was determined "to work, grow and export" its way out of its present difficulties.

"Work is underway on a revised four-year strategic plan that will set out the measures necessary to bring our deficit below 3.0 percent of GDP by 2014," Cowen said.

"We will publish this route map to recovery in early November," he told a 30th anniversary meeting of the German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce that was also marking 20 years of German unity.

The comments came a day after Ireland revealed details of massive property debts run up by its banks, particularly Anglo Irish Bank, that will push up the public deficit to a record 32 percent of gross domestic product this year.

He said the costs of the bank bailouts are "serious, very serious" but they are "manageable."

"We are facing the immediate challenges, and making the urgent adjustments, with a very clear focus on the path to recovery and on creating the basis for our prosperity into the future."

Cowen said there were "troubled times" for Ireland but he refused to "offer a counsel of despair.

"Our responsibility is to ensure that our country's finances are placed on the soundest footing. We are utterly determined to emerge from the current international economic crisis with a strong and sustainable economy.

"The reality is that our future remains firmly in our own hands. The Irish people, over centuries and generations, have shown their resilience and I believe will do so again."

Cowen said the message that must go out loud and clear is that Ireland "has rolled up its sleeves."

"We are determined to work, grow and export our way out of our present difficulties."

He said Germany had shown what determination can achieve.

It had built Europe's economic powerhouse from near destruction after the World War II. It had also dealt with the economic consequences of re-unification after the collapse of communism.

Ireland was the first eurozone member nation to plunge into recession in 2008, slammed by the global financial crisis, a domestic property market meltdown and soaring unemployment.

© 2010 AFP

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