• Germany's news in English
 
German FM: Be more like the hard-working Irish
Photo: DPA

German FM: Be more like the hard-working Irish

Published: 26 Oct 2012 15:51 GMT+02:00

Speaking after talks in Berlin on Friday, Gilmore said: "We are determined to be the first country to successfully exit from such a programme and we are on our way to achieving that goal."

Ireland's EU-IMF bailout package worth 85 billion euros ($107 billion) is due to expire at the end of next year and the country hopes to regain full access to the financial markets at that point.

Both ministers also reaffirmed comments at the weekend made by their respective leaders that Ireland should be considered a special case when applying for banking aid from the eurozone's new bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

"Our economy returned to growth last year but we are carrying a very heavy burden of bank debt because our taxpayers were required to shoulder the full cost of the bank bailout," said Gilmore, who is also deputy prime minister.

"In view of these unique circumstances, we appreciate the commitment of Germany and our other EU partners to examine Ireland's special situation," he added.

For his part, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that Ireland was "an excellent example that you can make it with discipline, with hard work and that you can work your way out of this debt crisis."

"We are full of respect for the Irish efforts. We are grateful for your efforts and your pro-European views and we admire the success story you are writing," added the minister.

Comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a summit last week of EU leaders that countries could not benefit retroactively from bank recapitalisation from the ESM spooked many in Ireland.

To assuage these fears, Dublin and Berlin issued a joint statement over the weekend insisting that the country's banks were a "specific case," a position later echoed by France.

Merkel's spokesman said she would meet Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Thursday in Berlin to discuss the eurozone crisis.

Dublin argues it should still benefit from bank recapitalisation funds because, unlike in the case of Greece, private investors were not forced to take a hit on their bond holdings.

Ireland had to seek an EU-IMF bailout in late 2010 after government efforts to keep its banking sector afloat left it virtually bankrupt, forcing it to seek outside help in return for tough and unpopular austerity measures.

Direct bank recapitalisation is meant to prevent banking crises from turning into national debt crises when governments are forced to bail out their financial sectors.

Westerwelle declined to comment on earlier remarks by a senior member of Merkel's conservative CDU party, Norbert Barthle, who said an application to the ESM would entail a new bailout programme and new strings attached.

"I can only say that if you look at the decisions of the German government and at the decisions of the German Bundestag, you see there is a huge majority for a pro-European direction," he said.

AFP/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:42 October 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Why stop at the Irish? It wouldn't be bad for the Germans to work as hard as the Turks, or the Greeks while their at it.
18:00 October 26, 2012 by quiller
I think with the different perspectives that exist between the EU, Germany/Finland/Holland, the EU Heads of State statement and the confusion over various statements. Irish and German governments running around like headless chickens calming one another, clarifying statements and markets. Have these people learnt nothing? Playing politics to their home audiences. The introduction and management of the Euro will have been seen by historians to be the biggest disaster faced by Europe since it's inception. The propping up of the banks by European governments - very often on a knee jerk response, will be seen to be disastrous. The banks should have been excoriated over their behaviour - lenders and borrowers. In many cases, they should have been let go to the wall. This week we have had the trial of a rogue broker in France - How come the rogue broker gets a trial while the rogue directors / regulators / managers are allowed to hold onto their jobs, bonuses, pensions?
19:16 October 26, 2012 by Englishted
Guido Westerwelle is a fool and our money are soon parted.

The Irish are not getting out of the bail out simply because their budget is 15 billion a year short of balancing .
19:23 October 26, 2012 by raandy
For his part, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that Ireland was "an excellent example that you can make it with discipline, with hard work and that you can work your way out of this debt crisis."

I assume this statement was pointed at Greece and Spain, even though their situations are all different including their culture. Austerity and banking reform is a must but one shoe does not fit all.Hard work and discipline is a "work ethic", which is not universally practiced or accepted by all member states.
19:24 October 26, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Thank you Ireland for being good little puppets. Here is a Jim'll fix it badge and your wish to meet Guido arranged.
20:04 October 26, 2012 by lgjhere
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:07 October 26, 2012 by Englishted
One more point to add to my earlier comment ,if as they say it is doing so well ,why are so many young people leaving just like in the past ?.
23:06 October 26, 2012 by lordkorner
Well I'm not living there so I can't be sure of what is going on in the little green Island. I am aware however that despite all the hardship that has befallen the people there ,they have knuckled down and got on with it. I have heard no reports of Riots or unrest on the streets of Dublin,unlike Athens and Madrid.
08:53 October 27, 2012 by Englishted
@ lordkorner

Is that a good or bad thing?

Docile enough to take anything in the hope you can remain in the E.U. .
13:43 October 27, 2012 by Navigator_B
The reality is that Ireland is an economic disaster zone with with huge numbers emigrating and those who remain burdened with debts that are simply unsustainable. 

It's not just the huge personal debts (like mortgages on negative equity properties) that are getting harder and harder to pay off because of tax rises. There's also the debts that were run up by private banks and and speculators that the taxpayers are now forced to pay off with those same tax rises as well as with cutbacks in public spending. 
11:43 October 28, 2012 by monicker
I am living in Ireland and I am working. The perception of the EU in Ireland is very negative. There are problems down the line which have yet to flare up. The main problem is that majority of homeowners cannot afford their mortgages. Furthermore, the unemployment is relatively low because of emigration and the unemployed entering full time education. The two biggest gripes are that all countries do not have equal say in Europe. Germany dictates to everyone and the Irish taxpayer are paying international investors for failed investments in banks that are being winded down. These investors include German and French banks, as they do in Greece.
19:37 October 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Exactly as it is monicker. The only problem with the Irish is they are not causing enough trouble as the Greeks are. They should be shouting foul play from the top of the Spire in Dublin after what their own government and the German government has imposed on them. The suffering is widespread and all to keep the top 1% afloat in a sea of champagne.
09:04 October 29, 2012 by strahlungsamt
Of course Ireland is doing the right thing. It's where German companies go to avoid paying German corporate tax. Meanwhile, social benefits, schools, hospitals and public services of all kinds are being cut left, right and center and the young population is emigrating to Australia.

Ayn Rand would be proud of the Irish. Collins and DeValera are turning in their graves.
Today's headlines
'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP
Edathy preparing to face questions in Berlin Photo: DPA

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP

A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal." READ  

This week in history
A Brandt name to relaunch a country
Willy Brandt being sworn into office in 1972 Photo: DPA

A Brandt name to relaunch a country

We know him as Willy Brandt - but that was just a pseudonym the former chancellor took to avoid the Nazis. READ  

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find
A similar bomb defused in Potsdam in September 2013. Photo: DPA

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find

Local authorities evacuated some 10,000 people from central Potsdam after an unexploded Second World War bomb was found on a building site. READ  

Sunny outlook for business this winter
Photo: DPA

Sunny outlook for business this winter

German business confidence rose in December on the back of falling oil prices and a weak euro, the Ifo economic institute said Thursday, as the prospects for Europe's biggest economy grew sunnier. READ  

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'
Photo: DPA

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Thursday that sanctions against Russia remain "unavoidable" until Ukraine regains its sovereignty and independence. READ  

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence
Photo: DPA

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence

Germany and Dortmund football star Marco Reus was hit by a €540,000 fine Thursday, after state prosecutors in Dortmund confirmed he has been driving for years without a licence. READ  

British and German troops relive Xmas truce
Soldiers in World War One period uniforms watch the football match. Photo: DPA

British and German troops relive Xmas truce

Teams from the British and German armies played a friendly football game in Aldershot on Wednesday in memory of the Christmas truce of 1914. READ  

Germany hails Obama's 'courage' over Cuba
Former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Photo: DPA

Germany hails Obama's 'courage' over Cuba

Berlin has welcomed the thaw in US-Cuban relations partly brokered in secret by Pope Francis at the Vatican. READ  

American guilty of killing Hamburg student
Diren Dede's grieving parents outside the court in Missoula Photo: DPA

American guilty of killing Hamburg student

A US court has found a man who shot and killed 17-year old German exchange student Diren Dede guilty of deliberate homicide. READ  

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016
Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016

After months of bickering among the coalition parties, the cabinet finally agreed to put a road toll for foreigners before parliament, but open questions about its financial viability and legality remain. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,173
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd