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EU welcomes Ireland's austerity plan

11-25-2010 15:14 BJT

BRUSSELS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) Wednesday welcomed the four-year austerity plan unveiled by Ireland, saying it is "a sound basis" for the negotiations between Dublin and the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said in a statement that the fiscal plan is an important contribution to the stabilization of Irish public finances.

"The plan strikes a good balance of durable expenditure and revenue measures, with due regard to protecting the least well off, " Rehn said.

The commissioner said the 2011 budget involving a consolidation effort of 6 billion euros (about 8 billion dollars) would be " appropriate," as it would strike a balance between allowing the nascent recovery to strengthen and addressing budgetary challenges in a timely fashion.

He also hailed the structural reform commitments in the plan, saying "these policies encourage exports and a recovery of domestic demand."

"Implementation of the reforms will thus contribute to the authorities' ambitious fiscal adjustment strategy and a return to fiscal sustainability," Rehn said in the statement.

The Irish government published its four-year austerity plan Wednesday afternoon, which includes 6 billion euros in spending cuts next year and another 9 billion euros (about 12 billion dollars) between 2012 and 2014.

It also includes income tax increases, deep cuts in social welfare expenditures and a reduction of 10 percent or more in the minimum wage.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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