Bailout exit strategy on the agenda in troika talks

An exit strategy for Ireland from the bailout will be a focus of talks between the Government and troika lenders this week, while officials will also examine solutions to the unemployment crisis.

The latest EU-IMF-ECB troika mission will arrive tomorrow and initially examine the recent budget measures and the strength of the banks.

But, by next week, attention is expected to move to how to get the long-term unemployed back into employment as well as options for when Ireland plans to leave the bailout programme at the end of the year.

According to a Government source familiar with the troika review, it is hoped that attention will turn on the lenders and what support they are willing to give to Ireland’s return to the bond markets.

This will include if the ECB will shoulder some of the pain and stand behind the currency by intervening in bond sales, if necessary. Negotiations have already been flagged by Finance Minister Michael Noonan last week about the European Commission allowing Ireland to extend the terms of its bailout programme.

Mr Noonan held talks with the third member of the troika, the International Monetary Fund, last week about what support it will provide.

Attention during the ninth troika mission will also turn to how banks are dealing with troubled mortgages and loans and the strengthening of the banks.

The Government is required to publish bank details on “loan modifications, including redefaults of modified loans, to permit analysis of the effectiveness of alternative resolution approaches in improving debt service performance”, the deal with the troika says.

The troika is expected to give a clean bill of health to the ninth review of Ireland’s bailout terms.

The talks are also expected to focus on structural reforms.

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