Ireland’s bruising experience of financial crash ‘major motivator of many reforms’, says head of IMF

IMF chief Christine Lagarde. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP-Getty Images
IMF chief Christine Lagarde. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP-Getty Images

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde has claimed Ireland’s bruising experience of the financial crash was a “major motivator of many of the reforms” to Euro Area rules since the crisis.

The former French finance minister and now managing director of the IMF was speaking at the Central Bank in Dublin, at the start of a two day conference to mark “The Euro at 20”.

Ms Lagarde said reforms introduced since the crash had been motivated by the need to change a system that in the last crisis in Ireland saw the costs of banking failures “largely borne by taxpayers”.

In her speech she described former finance minister, the late Brian Lenihan as a “solid soldier in the fight against the crisis.”

The Euro Area should not repeat the mistakes of the past, she said. But she said the Euro had been an “incredibly fruitful endeavour.”

Since Ireland signed the Maastricht Treaty incomes here had doubled, she noted.

The Euro is now the world’s second reserve currency, she said.

The conference will also be addressed by Central Bank Governor Philip Lane, former governor Patrick Honohan and staff from the IMF, central bank and academics.

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