Letter from Irish Prime Minister to the Irish people as Ireland exits bailout
This week, Ireland will exit the international bailout and regain economic sovereignty.
The Irish people have worked hard to achieve this step in Ireland's recovery. They deserve credit for their patience and resilience in turning around the fortunes of our country.
Since 2011, the Government's priority had to be to stabilise the economy by dealing with the huge hole in the public finances we inherited. This was an absolute must to attract in new jobs and investment. We had to prove that Ireland was serious about fixing our problems.
I know it has been a really tough few years for families all over the country. I also know that, for many of them, the recent positive signs in the economy have yet to be felt in their daily lives. But, while challenges remain, our economy is starting to recover.
While we still have too many of our people out of work, over 1,200 jobs a week are now being created.
What is important now is that we stick to our plan to build on recent progress.
We need to use our economic freedom to build a better future and to ensure that the mistakes that caused the economic crisis are never repeated.
To ensure this, the Government will next week publish a new Medium Term Economic Strategy to set out a new sustainable economic pathway back to prosperity for the country.
This will include reinforcing our commitment to bring Government borrowing down to sustainable levels during the remainder of this Government's term of office.
It will be an economic plan based on enterprise, not speculation.
Never again will our country's fortunes be sacrificed to speculation, greed and short-term electoral gain.
The exit from our bailout will not be an end in itself. There is much hard work ahead and we must stick to our plan.
But from next week, Ireland's international reputation, which suffered greatly in recent years, will be largely restored. Our economic destiny willbe once again in our own hands.
Our aim must be to build an economy where our people have the jobs and opportunities to realise their ambitions, provide for their families and live in a country that makes them proud.